TAMPA, Fla - Are you ever curious about the real lives of politicians, celebrities, local newsmakers and athletes?
Each week, ABC Action News asks 10 questions of a Bay area leader, politician or even national celebrity.
We go beyond the questions that are news of the day. After all sometimes, we want know more about them. What's their favorite music? Greatest success? And who do they look up to?
This week as we honor civil rights leader, the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, we wanted to profile a local leader in this community. There are so many. But as many know, this segment is largely based on viewer suggestions.
Former Mayor Pam Iorio said Gregory Celestan, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Celestar Corporation would be a great person to profile.
He is an equal admirer of hers as you will read shortly.
After reading his biography, I could see he was destined to succeed early on. In fact, in high school he was named "most likely to succeed!"
His company, the Celestar Corporation is a consulting company that provides support to the U.S. Government and private industries world wide.
It is headquartered in Tampa and since it's inception in 2004 added a satellite office in Reston, Virgina.
One of the many unique aspects of the company is that the employees served on the format lines of the military. Just as Celestan did. He retired as Lt. Colnel after serving in the U.S. Army for 25 years .
During his service, Celestan said among his many responsibilities he commanded several artillery units in Germany.
According to his biography, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, he organized and led U.S. Central Command's Coalition Intelligence Coordination Center in Qatar. During Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, he said he headed a team responsible for developing intelligence against Al-Qaida and Taliban targets.
He also served as an analyst.
Celestan's military experience also led him to write several published articles related to security issues, including foreign threats.
His company has seen great success. Inc. magazine listed it one of the 500 fastest growing private companies in America in 2009.
The Tampa Bay Business Journal's also put Celestar on a "Fast 50" list of the Fifty Fastest growing companies in Tampa Bay.
He was selected as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the State of Florida in 2010.
He is also extremely active in his community . Among his involvements, he currently is a Trustee on the Board of the Bank of Tampa; is a member of the Tampa General Hospital Foundation Board and is a member of the CEO Council of Tampa Bay. He is also a Past Chairman of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.
He attended the University of Washington as well as the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Clestan is not orginally from here. He grew up in Niagra Falls, New York, but his wife Joanne is, she is from Fort Myers, Florida.
They met far from home, in Germany in 1985. He said it was his first assignment out of West Point and she was a teacher for dependents of American Service members.
They married five years later in Niagara Falls in 1990 and have one daughter who now attends college.
I have not had the pleasure of meeting or interviewing Mr. Celestan yet. He certainly is a great contributor to this community.
Read more about him!
1. What is your all time favorite movie or song?
"That's the Way of the World" by Earth, Wind and Fire.
2. Do you have a Smartphone? If so, what's your favorite app?
3. Who do you count as your mentor(s)?
Former Mayor Pam Iorio
4. What was your very first job?
Delivering newspapers for the Niagara Falls Gazette
5. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
Greater patience…I am very impatient. If I have an idea, I want to execute it right away.
6. What do you consider your greatest success?
Tie between graduating from West Point and building a business from scratch.
7. Tell us something about you most people don't know?
I am a closet geek…I was on my high school's "It's Academic" team and actually appeared on the show as a Senior in High School.
8. If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be?
GEN Benjamin Davis Jr. (First African American General in the Air Force and a West Point Graduate); GEN George Patton Jr (Amazing Historian); Ayn Rand (Interesting philosophy about life)
9. What is in your fridge right now?
Pot roast/bacon/vegetables. I am a meataholic.
10. If you could have a different career, other than what you are doing what would it be?
Historian...I am fascinated by military and political history.en what you're doing now, what would it
10 questions is an online feature I started doing more than three years ago. Many of the people I profile are based on your suggestions. If there is someone you would like to see featured, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you also have a suggestion for a question please let me know. I always look forward to hearing from you!
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