Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month: Danny Cepin
As Treasury Prime’s Director of Fintech Sales, Danny Cepin has made it his mission to help cutting-edge fintech companies create and scale new products through Treasury Prime’s API product and bank network. Before joining the Treasury Prime team two years ago, Danny worked for Brex, one of Treasury Prime’s early clients. Danny says he was drawn not only to Treasury Prime’s mission but also its people — a group that Danny says has quickly become a community that he’s proud to be a part of.
What makes Treasury Prime feel like a community to you?
I think community takes many shapes and can feel different for everyone. I think what’s special about Treasury Prime is that we have a big group of talented people who believe in our mission and work incredibly hard towards that common goal.
What I love about Treasury Prime is that it’s revolutionizing the way fintechs and enterprises do business, and success for us is the success of our customers. It’s really cool to be able to play a part in that. Because we all work so closely to accomplish this same goal, it has made this company one of the important communities I identify with.
Of course, I think people can be a part of more than one community. For me, my culture is another community that I am a part of.
Can you share a bit more about your culture and upbringing?
My father is from a small town in the Dominican Republic and my mother is from Barcelona. I’m the oldest of three and Spanish was my first language.
My parents really made sure that I stayed in touch with my roots. When I was younger I was regularly making bi-annual trips to Barcelona, and on the off years, I’d go to the Dominican Republic.
I would go to summer camps in Barcelona, and as a teenager, I got to visit the town where my dad lived. He would speak often about farming, herding cows, and riding horses in this town when I was growing up. When I visited, I got to see what life was like for him when he was younger and how hard he had to work to get where he is now. My dad is now an accomplished cardiologist and my mom is a physician with her own practice in San Diego. They work with and serve a predominantly Spanish-speaking clientele.
Growing up in Southern California, I dedicated a lot of my time to three things: academics, soccer, and baseball. Soccer and baseball are the most popular sports in Spain and the Dominican Republic respectively. I would often play about 15 minutes from the Mexico-United States border or in Mexico itself.
After college, I also spent a year living in Barcelona to more fully embed myself in my culture and to be with family. I also spent that year playing on Barcelona's baseball team in the European Confederation of Baseball (basically Europe's professional baseball league). These trips were a way for me to spend time with my relatives, maintain my Spanish, and learn more about where my parents — and my roots — came from.
Growing up in a tri-cultural household as an American with both Latin and European Hispanic heritage, do you have any favorite traditions?
There are two things that come to mind: Christmas Eve and paella.
Christmas is a really big and important holiday for Hispanics and Christmas Eve for our family is a huge deal. We’d fly relatives in, invite tons of friends over, and we’d get to start opening gifts. It’s a special day for our family.
And paella, similarly, was an occasion for bringing lots of people together. My mom would make these great paellas and people would just flock in. My mom even made paella for our yearly Super Bowl parties! I think people came more for the paella than the game.
You recently had a daughter. How are you planning on passing down your cultural traditions to her?
I think I’m fortunate because my wife also comes from a different culture. She’s Persian and I didn’t know a lot about Persian culture before I met her. Because of her and her family I’ve had the chance to learn a lot about it. And in doing so, I’ve found that there are some similarities between Persian and Hispanic cultures, such as how important etiquette and family can be. Because of how much my wife and I have learned about each other’s cultures, it feels almost seamless to pass down our culture to our daughter.
Our families also play a big role. Every Friday our daughter spends time with her Persian grandmother where she is spoken to in Farsi and whenever my mother visits, she is exposed to Spanish. In the future, like me, I think our daughter could spend extended periods of time with her other family members to learn the different languages and more about her multicultural background.
Why is it important to maintain intimacy with your heritage and celebrate it?
Because, frankly, it’s who you are. It’s a really important part of your identity.
Whenever I meet new people, one of things that I want to learn about first is their culture. Every culture is distinct and for me it really drives conversation. That’s part of the reason why I’m enjoying how quickly the Treasury Prime team is growing — meeting new people from diverse backgrounds and learning more about their roots is a lot of fun.