Getting to Know… Media Experts’ Pina Cuffaro

—Media Experts’ new VP of investments on her love of Succession, “Gronk” and how her job satisfies her childhood dream of becoming a lawyer.—

Pina Cuffaro was recently promoted to vice-president of investments at Media Experts, a newly created senior role on the media agency’s centralized buying team.

Cuffaro, who has spent her entire career with Media Experts, will continue to lead and oversee the agency’s broadcast, investment and procurement teams, while expanding her purview to include the growth of its connectivity to IPG partner agencies, teams and media vendors.

“Pina has worked tirelessly to centralize and streamline media investments, ensuring that all of Media Experts’ clients get the maximum value for their media dollars,” said CEO Robert Jenkyn.

That’s the professional stuff, but we wanted to get to know Cuffaro outside the office. This is what she told us.

About the photo: Pina Cuffaro with her husband Adriano Pietrantonio and their son Giordano.

Favourite TV show of all time and why? Without hesitation, Succession. I love the dynamic between the siblings. It’s a fascinating exploration of the psychology behind why people make the decisions that they do. And of course, on the guilty pleasure side, I love getting a peak behind the curtain of the lavish lifestyle. It does a great job of showing how every income level has its own issues—some very different from ours, some very much the same. The acting is also phenomenal. That goes without saying. It’s impossible to pick a favourite character because everyone is so strong and such an integral piece of the saga.

Are you a sports fan: favourite team and favourite player?  Yes, I am a sports lover. I used to be a big Habs fan and am still loyal to them, but my true love is football. I used to identify as a New England Patriots fan, but that tends to change. But without a doubt my favourite player is Rob Gronkowski. I appreciate his dynamic with Tom Brady, and I think he’s a great player, but mostly I like his character outside of his sport. Give him a follow on Instagram. He’s the perfect mix of wild and simple that makes him seem like a real authentic person.

Favourite thing about weekends? Family time. My weeks are super charged, so I really look forward to the slower pace of a Saturday. Having no plans, no meetings, and waking up to take the day as it comes.

Do you have kids: what are their names? I have a two-and-a-half-year-old boy, Giordano aka Baby G.

Do you have pets? I have a French bulldog named Charlie. We actually got him the same month I found out I was pregnant with my son. We joke that he’s part pig, part human, and part cat. Basically, he’s lazy, yet independent and doesn’t ask for much—a great fit for a family with a toddler.

Most important person in your professional life that you do not work with or for? It’s hard for me to answer this question as my entire career has been spent at Media Experts—15 years now. The most important person I’ve ever crossed paths with within the organization or outside is Richard Ivey, chief procurement officer at Media Experts. He has been a true mentor to me, and I have learned so much from him. He has given me so many opportunities over the years that allowed me to show what I was capable of and grow within the company. And while I have learned so much from him, he also says that he’s been able to learn from my perspective and insights as well. What we have is a true partnership that absolutely allowed me to be where I am today.

What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a lawyer. I love a good deliberation, the arguing, the courtroom side of law. Luckily, in my current job, I get a good argument in on a daily basis through the negotiations I do on behalf of the agency. Instead of negotiating in court, we negotiate over media!

Nicest thing a coworker’s said to you? That I’m a problem solver. I’ve been told that I am the first person you call when there’s a problem, and that almost everyone has leaned on me at some point when they have had an issue or a project that needed a push to the finish line. That made me really happy, because I am so glad to be able to help others the way that I’ve been helped over the years. Big or small, I’m always willing be pitch in.

Chris Powell