Staff

John West

Head of Speech Coaching

Over the past decade, John West has established himself as New York’s most versatile speech coach. He has trained top executives and employee groups at nearly every major financial institution and law firm in New York City. He works regularly with companies such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Google, and MediaCom to promote effective communication skills and help employees achieve pristine speaking voices.

John and New York Speech Coaching have been featured in Business Insider, the New York Post, Marie Claire, and Esquire, among others, and John can be heard as a speech consultant on NPR. His diverse list of current clients includes CEOs, hedge fund managers, news anchors, lawyers, surgeons, politicians, fashion designers, models, authors, coaches, judges, professors, Miss America contestants, Broadway actors, and more.

John is a member of American MENSA, and is beloved by employers and managers for his ebullient style and ability to imitate nearly any accent or voice. This enables him to demonstratively convey to clients the appropriate adjustments to achieve a healthy and effective sound for their professional and personal pursuits.

Justin Stoney

Founder and President of New York Vocal Coaching and affiliates

Justin Stoney founded New York Vocal Coaching and affiliates including New York Speech Coaching, and is currently available as NYVC's head instructor for those interested in singing lessons. He is an internationally recognized Voice Teacher and Vocal/Speech Coach. As one of the leading Voice Teachers in today’s music industry, he has appeared on the NBC Today Show, CBS, Fox News, Fox 5 New York, The Insider, and is a frequent guest on Huffington Post Live’s interviews of celebrity singers. His teaching has been featured in publications such as Esquire Magazine, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, NME, Fox News Magazine, Discovery News, Medical Daily, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, UK’s Daily Mail, Vice Magazine, Marie Claire, and Backstage Magazine. Backstage readers also voted Mr. Stoney as one of New York City’s best Voice Teachers and Vocal Coaches. For more on Justin and New York Vocal Coaching, please click here.

Paul Geiger Speech Coach

Paul Geiger

Senior Speech Coaching Associate

Paul Geiger’s speech coaching specialties at New York Speech Coaching are: the dynamics of public speaking, accent reduction and the subtleties of business communications. He has worked with individuals and groups from a wide range of national and international companies: Banco do Brasil, Morgan Stanley, UNICEF, and Deutsche Bank, to name a few.

Paul is also an accomplished actor, voiceover artist, and on camera host, having done work for: Days Of Our Lives, All My Children, Mercedes Benz, Platinum Technologies and Coldwell Banker.

The physical and psychological aspects of speech are addressed in Paul’s singular teaching concept of owning your breath and clear articulation of perspective. In his years at New York Speech Coaching, he has developed a customizable program of action steps that get results.

In Paul’s words, “You gain confidence when you gain control of your speech technique. Knowing there are steps you can take begins the process of empowering each individual to become more expressive and more persuasive in a truthful and authentic way.”

To read Paul’s client testimonials, click here.

John Armstrong Speech Coach

JOHN ARMSTRONG

Speech Coaching Associate

John Armstrong is an associate speech instructor with over 10 years of experience in professional teaching and private coaching. His clients have presented, spoken, and interviewed with success at venues such as the United Nations, TED, Google, Citibank, PWC, Thomson Reuters, and disciplines including business, finance, marketing, tech, and more. John’s teaching combines his experience as a corporate instructor with the training of a classical singer and actor, the practices of chakra meditation and yoga, and his background as a director and film producer. John possesses a unique skill set that allows him to effectively integrate healthy voice and speech technique into the demands of professionals in every walk of life.

John also has comfort with teaching dialects and the International Phonetic Alphabet, and he has successfully trained clients from all corners of the globe to communicate effectively in English. Interviews with John have been featured in Backstage Magazine, Fast Company Media, and in the book, Dancing with Voice, by renowned voice specialist, Joan Melton.

John holds a bachelor’s degree in musical theatre and a master’s in acting from Indiana University and has served as professor, instructor, and teaching artist of acting, voice and speech, musical theatre, and Shakespeare studies at The New York Film Academy and in professional institutions and universities across the country. In addition, John is the co-founder and COO of Pigasus Pictures, LLC, an independent film company recognized as Cultural Visionaries in Film by NUVO Magazine for the work on their feature film, The Good Catholic, starring Danny Glover and John C. McGinley.

Clara Pagone Speech Coach

CLARA PAGONE

Speech Coaching and Actor Associate

Clara Pagone is an associate speech instructor with over 10 years of experience, specializing in the corporate world (as a lawyer, public speaking on trustees' boards, corporate training, and debate tournaments) and the arts (vocal/stage/screen acting, singing, dance/movement, directing, producing, bilingual performances, and dialect coaching).

Clara has Bachelor's Degrees in Law and Biomedical Science from Monash University, and she is an alumnus of Anne Bogart's SITI Company Conservatory NYC.

Clara grew up back and forth between Italy and Australia and is fluent in both Italian and English. She discovered a passion for studying Romance languages and was accepted to study in Salisbury, Great Britain. She participated in tournaments with the Debaters' Association and Public Speaking teams, later adjudicating state debating and state performance competitions. Clara has directed at Melbourne's notable La Mama Theatre, lead directed for Acting Antics devising self-motivated children's performances, and worked as a trainee lawyer for Maurice Blackburn, specializing in Medical Law and Consumer Affairs.

Clara's speech coaching is an integrated approach, focusing on classical text articulation and breath techniques, principles of meditation, hydration, sight, scientific awareness of the body as a changing entity, corporate sensitivities, and the relationship between ear and voice. Clara is skilled in the ability to equip any person with the tools and confidence to move an audience and to communicate clearly and with conviction.

Brendan Houdek

BRENDAN HOUDEK M.A., CCC-SLP, TSSLD

Head of Speech Pathology/Speech Coaching Associate

Brendan Houdek is a New York City and Long Island-based speech-language pathologist, musician, voice teacher, and speech coach. Brendan holds a Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Hofstra University as well as Bachelor of Arts degrees in Speech Communications and Philosophy/Religious Studies from St. Joseph’s College.

Brendan’s introduction to the world of speech coaching was through his interest in accent and dialect modification. His passion for this work, in combination with his love of music, guided him throughout his education and career in speech-language pathology, leading him to focus in related areas of the field. His areas of expertise in speech-language pathology include work with articulation, resonance, fluency, and voice disorders, which have enabled him to have a detailed understanding of these components of the speech mechanism. This background has equipped him with a unique perspective when working with clients. Brendan takes pleasure in not only providing therapeutic services through his work in speech-language pathology, but also in assisting others achieve their goals through speech coaching. Brendan firmly believes in the value of attaining the ability to speak in a manner that represents the true self and enables one to communicate more effectively.

Brendan took part in the NYVC Voice Teacher Training under the teaching of Justin Stoney to develop a better understanding of the nuances of the singing voice. In doing so, he has learned valuable information to assist him in his therapeutic and coaching endeavors for both singers and speakers alike. The Voice Teacher Training has been the highlight of his career as a musician, therapist, and coach.

A multi-instrumentalist, Brendan performs regularly in the Long Island area at various venues as well as local churches. He is grateful that he has the opportunity to do so in multiple genres and on a variety of instruments. His musical proficiencies include the voice, guitar, bass, drums, tuba, piano, ukulele, mandolin, and various forms of hand percussion.

Brendan combines the science of speech-language pathology with the knowledge gained through vocal artistry to provide clients with the most comprehensive and balanced understanding of the speaking voice. It brings him great joy in assisting others on their path to enhancing themselves as speakers and individuals.

To read Brendan's client testimonials, click here.

Tricia Veldman Speech Coach

TRICIA VELDMAN, M.S. BILINGUAL CF, TSSLD

Speech Pathology Associate / Speech Coaching Associate

Tricia Veldman is a bilingual Speech Language Pathology Clinical Fellow. She holds a Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Bilingual Extension in Italian, from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Florida.

Tricia’s knack for languages and accents sparked her interest in providing accent reduction. After spending time in a small Italian village to learn the language, she recognizes the advantages of mastering a clear accent in one’s non-native language. This cultural awareness and first-hand experience allows her to identify with clients as they work towards achieving their speech goals.

Tricia also has a passion for the speaking voice, and interned at the Voice and Swallowing Institute of New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. Here she conducted evaluations and provided voice therapy to a range of patients. She had the pleasure of working under Senior Speech Pathologist Vera Leyko, M.S. CCC-SLP and Singing Voice Specialist Amy Cooper, M.S. CCC-SLP, and observed cutting edge surgeries performed by Dr. Michael Pitman, MD.

Recognizing that learning styles vary on an individual basis, Tricia utilizes client-specific interests and talents to render therapy and coaching most effective. Participation in the New York Speech Coaching Speech Teacher Training program under head instructor, John West, has also influenced her dynamic teaching style.

With a range of clinical experience from preschoolers to older adults, Tricia is trained across a variety of speech-language domains. Her more specific interests include voice, fluency, bilingual populations, accent modification, and adolescent social skills training.

The combination of Tricia’s strong academic foundation, diverse cultural experiences, and empathetic nature has shaped her unique, integrated approach to therapy and coaching. Her passion lies in helping individuals develop the art of communication to promote their own self-expression and personal success.

Tricia offre tutti i servizi anche in Italiano

Keri Safran

KERI SAFRAN

Associate Dialect Coach

Keri Safran specializes in dialect coaching and accent reduction training, as well as audition coaching for professional actors. An actress herself who was blessed with the gift of mimicry, she performs her impressions all over the country. Most recently she assisted SNL's Dana Carvey in the developmental process of his new TV show First Impressions. This ability to replicate sounds so specifically helps both her dialect and accent modification clients to clearly understand the subtleties of their desired sounds. For accent reduction, or, “American Accent Training,” Keri works with corporate and medical professionals, as well as actors from overseas who need to be able to turn on that American Accent at a moment's notice in order to take advantage of casting opportunities here in the States. As for dialects, Keri does cast coaching for professional and youth productions, as well as individual coaching for projects on stage, television, film, audio books, the web, and more. Keri particularly enjoys and values crafting a dialectical sound that is specific to your character, their social status, background, and the world of the play/musical/film. Keri also primarily performs in comedies and guarantees that the hard work of making strange sounds under her guidance will be fun.

Keri's clients have appeared on stage in numerous productions such as Peter & the Starcatcher at Orlando Shakespeare Theater; the national tour of SaturdayNight Fever, Take Me Out, Ensemble Theatre Company; King John & All's Well…, Shakespeare By the Sea; Bound, Hollywood Fringe Festival; Comedy of Errors, Hartford Stage; and onscreen in Grey's Anatomy, Bones, Getting On, Bosch, Garfunkel & Oates, 2 Broke Girls, NCIS, American Horror Story, Castle, Edgar Allen Poe's Mystery Dinner Party, and many others. Keri was also very proud to serve this past summer as the dialect coach for a youth production of Grand Hotel at Golden Performing Arts Center in CA.

Alaina Fragoso

ALAINA FRAGOSO

New York Speech Administrative Assistant

Alaina Fragoso is New York Speech Coaching’s Administrative Assistant. Growing up in a suburb of Boston, Alaina has always had a passion for acting and singing. She graduated from Emerson College after studying performing arts, and eventually, she moved to New York City.

While helping clients achieve their speech goals, Alaina continues to pursue her dreams by auditioning, taking various classes around the city, and performing whenever she can! She’s been featured in social media ads for major beer brands, the International Fringe Festival, and staged readings for Broadway composers, among many other productions in and around New York and New England.

www.alainafragoso.com