Our Team

Leo Vartanov - CEO

A St John’s University Honors graduate who also attended NY Law School, Leo oversees the day to day operations of Merchant Industry and is the driving force behind the explosive growth experienced over the past several years culminating in the naming of Merchant Industry to INC’s list of the 5000 fastest growing private companies in the country. Merchant Industry started out in a small one room office space and has expanded to a large operation with offices in multiple locations. Through the many hierarchies of this firm there exist dozens of processing solutions and myriad tools available for use by businesses from the smallest mom and pop operation to the largest multiple location businesses nationally. Not content to rest on past successes, Merchant Industry has been the recipient of multiple awards and generous recognition from the banks and processing platforms that it works with. All of this proves that Merchant Industry is not just another startup company but rather a name that will be trusted and recognized in the industry for many years to come.

Jennifer Vartanov - CFO

A St. John’s University Honors graduate and NY Law School attendee, Jennifer has dedicated her talents to overseeing the many financial aspects of a fast growing company. Her expertise in her field at such a young age is unprecedented and her incredible work ethic as well as her tireless energy is the engine to keeping this company on a firm but expanding financial footing. As the company expanded from a small office with two people to multiple offices and hundreds of people she has kept her finger on the pulse of not only the company’s needs but the industry as well allowing Merchant Industry to stay nimble, responsive and at the forefront of an ever evolving and fluid market.

Christopher Benabu - COO

A NYU Stern School of Business graduate, Christopher is the driving force and power source behind the sales team at Merchant Industry. His expertise in sales and his relentless energy have been a huge reason Merchant Industry has attained the INC Magazine naming to the 5000 fastest growing company list. Having started at a very young age his entrepreneurial drive was evident in building a chain of 24 mobile phone stores in the metro New York area with his partners. The sale of those stores and the experience garnered in building and running them led to the next phase in his career with Merchant Industry. He is adept in seeing trends in the industry as they emerge and positioning Merchant Industry at the forefront of the ever changing processing field.

Jennifer Silva - Underwriting Liaison

A continuing student at Monroe College, Jennifer has earned her underwriting experience the old fashioned way, coming up through the ranks and learning through achievement. Her extensive background in administrative roles and sales functions have positioned her uniquely to build relationships with lenders and merchants alike. She is tasked with merchant funding applications, setting up clients in the database and dealing with the various lenders to match the right proposal to the merchant needs. Her drive and expertise has become invaluable to her department.

Michael Valerio - Underwriting, Risk Management

As an underwriter with over 10 years’ experience, Michael diligently evaluates all processing applications for approval and also audits existing accounts to mitigate any potential exposure to losses for Merchant Industry. Michael has a strong understanding on how to identify potential risk issues by properly applying the many guidelines issued by MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express which has led to an impressive portfolio.

Khatia Gogsadze - Manager, Billing Department

Khatia has the daunting task of handling all of the ISO monthly settlements, processing all of the debits and credits and myriad other clerical and bookkeeping tasks associated with running a large complex organization like Merchant Industry. Her years of experience in many administrative positions, calm demeanor dealing with tight timetables, knowledge of merchant processing and analytical mind enable her to perform her tasks in an expedient and extremely efficient manner.