International Women’s Day Employee Spotlight: Pina Cuffaro, Managing Director, Media Procurement
In honour of International Women’s Day, which took place this week, we are continuing to highlight the incredible achievements and contributions of women all week.
Today, the spotlight is on Media Experts’ own Pina Cuffaro, Managing Director, Media Procurement.
How did you come to be at Media Experts?
15 years ago, I was studying and looking to branch out and start a career. Without really knowing much about media or advertising, I applied for a job at Media Experts, because I knew a few people that worked for the company.
From the start, I loved the idea of buying and negotiating media. I didn’t quite know what I was in for yet, but I accepted a job as a coordinator and moved up from there.
How would you describe your growth as a woman in the organization?
I am lucky in that I have been able to work within almost every department within the company. From buying to strategy and now in procurement and investments, I got to learn about all the different aspects of the agency, and how all departments need to work together to provide value to our customers.
I have had fantastic mentors throughout my entire career. To name just a few, I found that working with Lisa Di Marco, Flavia D’Orazio, Vasso Fragos and Richard Ivy really elevated my career because with them, I always felt like I had a seat at the table and that my voice was always heard.
I’ve never felt that I was at a disadvantage as a woman in this business and more specifically at Media Experts. We are heavily woman-dominated, with a lot of women at the top.
What are some challenges you had to overcome and what helped you through them?
I was really nervous coming back from maternity leave. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to manage being a mom- a good mom- and manage my own career.
I was so excited to come back to work, but I was also really scared that because I had been out of the business for a year, I wasn’t going to be able to accomplish all the goals that I had set for myself. With the right resources, we accomplished a lot in 2021 and I think my biggest challenge became how to manage being a mom and being a great mentor for a lot of people on Media Experts, like the ones I was lucky enough to have throughout my career. I’ve been able to manage both by working with great people and having someone like Richard as my mentor, which was huge in allowing me the ability to be a great Mom and to be a great Managing Director.
Out of all your accomplishments, both big and small, what are you the proudest of?
Creating great value opportunities for our customers on an ongoing basis. On every project that I work on, I look to not only uncover the most value possible, but also understand exactly what is valuable for each client.
I think that our Broadcast team has never been better, I’m proud of the work that we do every single day. We were able to take a full team that had previously been focused on traditional media and empower them to grasp the digital landscape. I’m also proud of the work of the Investment team. While still a small, fledgling team, we have proven to be valuable collaborators and a lot of planning teams want to work with us. The Procurement group has also accomplished a lot, from the audits that we manage, the projections for internal and external to working with shared services. All of this makes me extremely proud.
What advice would you give to young Pina or new hire?
Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. When I started, I would often hold back, fearful of saying the wrong thing or advancing the wrong opinion. But I think that everyone should know that a simple idea is better than no idea. Don’t be afraid to make your voice heard, whether it be in the realm of the things that you do on a day-to-day basis or outside of your team. If you hear a conversation, give your opinion, collaborate!
It really does take a village. Everybody needs to work together within the organization. Every team, every SBU has a purpose. It all works well when we work well together!
Fill in the blanks
What is your motto? Be your authentic self
What motivates you each day? My team. And adding value for our clients through great negotiations with our various partners
When are you happiest? When I get to sit down and have dinner with my family
What is the favorite thing you like to do after a long day? Have a glass of red wine
How would your friends describe you? Tenacious & Persistent