Thursday, May 28, 2009

Edward Montes > www.havasdigital.com

Edward Montes, EVP Managing Director US, Havas Digital


Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
Yes, but mostly due to the fact that I work for a Havas Digital and Havas’ roots happen to be Spanish! I am grateful to be a part of an organization in the US which shares my Latin heritage. One of biggest perks of working with a company that has such a strong ties to its’ Spanish roots and Latin operations is that I regularly use my language skills and enjoy a tremendously diverse company culture.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
I once got a fortune cookie that said “the climb gets harder as you approach the summit”- it really resonated with me. I view adversity as part of the journey to the summit. I not only think that this is true of my professional experiences but personal as well. I never want to stop learning and trying to turn adversity that I face into a learning opportunity.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
It is funny you ask that, I believe I am facing it right now as I work to continue to grow our business in the most tumultuous economy of my business career. It started last summer as some of our clients literally disappeared… Our staffing is very sensitive to fluctuations in client billings and at the same time there is a scarcity of quality talent in our industry. So, I would say weathering the current economic environment, retaining staff, as well as exceeding our forecasted budget for this year are my greatest challenges to date…

If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
I would have realized at a younger age that life is not only about the choices you make but also about working hard to be in a position to make choices.

What was your childhood ambition?
I always wanted to be a lawyer or a doctor. Although my current title might fool you, I have a Law Degree. I even put it to use for a as a Prosecutor in the Middlesex District Attorney’s office of Massachusetts, where I prosecuted numerous major felonies and appellate actions. I feel very fortunate that I was able to accomplish that childhood dream.

Tell us about two people that you admire?
The first person I would cite is my mother, Catalina Montes. She had to flee Cuba under difficult circumstances in the early 60’s. Having faced such adversity at an early age she could have become bitter or broken down but she chose the opposite and became one of the strongest, most determined, people I know. Proof of those qualities is in her tremendously successful career in Education. She has taught and inspired numerous disadvantaged children to pursue their dreams along the way.

Another person I really admire is David Filo, Co-Founder of Yahoo!, who I had a chance to work for at Yahoo! It was an amazing and invaluable part of my career. David’s humility is something which I will always admire and keep in the back of my mind. You would never know he was worth a small fortune and has accomplished so much. He would never boast about his career or the fruits of it. Anyone who can be that humble given his accomplishments is someone to admire.
For meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Breakfast or dinner, lunch is too much of a disruption in the middle work day. That being said, I suppose I prefer breakfast over dinner because it is the calmest and most predictable part of my day. Once things get going my schedule can fill up pretty quickly so it is best to grab me early.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
I consider myself a work in progress and not a success and I haven’t had to sacrifice much except some free time. I enjoy working and I am lucky to work with incredible people who make it an exciting and intellectually stimulating environment.
What is your favorite quote?
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
Muhammad Ali

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
I don’t know that I am unconventional. I try to my job to the best of my ability, put in maximum effort, and challenge things that don’t appear to be correct. On thing people might find unconventional though is that I “don’t go along to get along”. - I don’t think people should challenge status quo more often.

Biggest mistake made?
I don’t think I have one mistake which I would consider my “biggest”. I suppose I could sum a few of the biggest mistakes I’ve made by saying that I don’t say thank you enough.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
No, I don’t consider myself an innovator. I just try and approach my work with the unique lens my education and experience allow me.

About the Company:
Edward Montes is EVP, Managing Director of Havas Digital US, the interactive network of Havas Media. He is responsible for the development and leadership of Media Contacts US and Canada, managing MC staff spread across five North American offices: New York, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Toronto. Previously, Montes served as Managing Director of the Boston office, the largest of Media Contacts’ US operations. Within this role, Montes demonstrated an exceptional rapport with clients and a proven ability to not only lead the organization, but drive strategic new business objectives as well.

Prior to Havas Digital, Edward worked at Yahoo! Inc. During his tenure he served as the Director of Special Projects for Yahoo!’s Media, Entertainment, Information, and Finance Groups and the General Manager of Yahoo! Delivers, Yahoo!’s direct marketing advertising product. Immediately following his tenure at Yahoo!, Montes served as a consultant to the wireless technology industry providing insights into the data application sector and the delivery of advertising to mobile handsets.

Before entering the interactive industry, Montes was a Prosecutor in the Middlesex District Attorney’s office of Massachusetts, where he prosecuted numerous major felonies and appellate actions. Montes is a graduate of the Boston University School of Law, and a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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