Grey Goose Notable: Vito Piazza

Grey Goose Notable young professionals and entrepreneurs are influential tastemakers who have made it beyond their years and, though their careers are still evolving, are now able to enjoy the success and life they have created. These selected individuals share how they got to where they are today, how they are able to enjoy what they have earned, where they love to travel, how they entertain and how they celebrate all that life has to offer. Someone who can certainly celebrate his successes and perseverance is Vito Piazza, who is currently the Managing Partner and Vice-President of Sid Lee’s Toronto office. In a timeframe where some young professionals may have switched jobs and careers multiple times, he has been with the company for close to 12 years. 

Vito Piazza joined Sid Lee in 1999 just before the .com bubble burst, noticing that the company was ahead of the curve as marketing and media behaviour were beginning to change. Before starting in the strategy department of Sid Lee, Vito graduated from McGill University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and business and began applying his knowledge in the real world at agencies including Montreal’s Palm and Cossette. It wasn’t long though, before Sid Lee came calling and over the last decade, Vito has worked his way from strategy to account leadership and is now a Vice President, Partner and Managing Director of the Toronto office. In 2003 he completed an MBA from McGill and committed himself to learning every aspect of business operations, becoming a seasoned professional in matching business strategy with innovative, creative solutions. In a nutshell, he’ s there from the beginning; he starts a relationship with clients to understand their needs, assembles a team and becomes a liaison between client and agency to ensure that trust, anticipation and inspiration guide every interaction. 

If there was one location everyone must see, what would it be?
Sagrada Familia. Besides being an incredible sight, it’s amazing to me that a vision can be carried out across so many generations.

What is your general perspective on life? Advice for fellow young professionals?
Action makes the difference. Forward progress brings clarity and eliminates the unknown. When you’re young, this is a lot about working hard, which is how you learn but also earn respect and legitimacy. 

Who do you admire most?
My wife. 

Why were the early stages of your career worth what you are now able to enjoy?
In the beginning, I often volunteered (or was asked) to do things that no one else felt like doing. It was probably because many of these projects were complex, unclear and ill-defined – potentially endless pits of effort.

But it helped me learn how to make vague issues into specific plans of action. 

What makes the best host at a dinner party?
The best host is both generous and unpretentious. 

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Honestly, I’m not a big resto guy. I have huge respect for restaurant operators and chefs, with all the creativity and effort it requires. But for me, I just see food as a home thing.

What’s your favourite drink?
It’s hard to compete with a Grey Goose and soda.

One thing always in your fridge?
Food, real food, as in fresh things.

Do you cook?
I think everyone should. You can eat like royalty and it’s rewarding to try something new (unless you totally screwed it up). My goal is to attempt one new recipe every weekend.

How do you stay fit and healthy?
Exercise six days a week. To make this work I can’t plan it. When I have an opening, I go for it. So I stick to things that can be done on a moment’s notice like running, biking and strength training. I keep planned activity like soccer to once a week max.

What is your ideal Sunday?
Get outside in the morning. Go to bed early, and wake up ready for the week.

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