YPDaily: Michael Rossi

To coincide with the launch of the Reebok men’s training apparel and footwear collection, today’s YPDaily is Reebok Canada Vice President Michael Rossi. What advice does he have for other young professionals? Find out in today’s feature…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I lead our Canadian Reebok brand team in bringing our product and marketing initiatives to life in the Canadian sports and fitness industry.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I’ve always been passionate about both sports and business, and sought a career that would allow me to pursue them together. Many years ago, I had the opportunity to join a small, entrepreneurial company that designed lifestyle NHL apparel. Through multiple acquisitions, I’ve progressed throughout Reebok and the adidas Group to the role I have today.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I love fitness and sports, so leading a brand that inspires people across our country to “Live with Fire” – to be active and to realize their potential in life – is incredibly motivating and rewarding. As with any business, continually finding ways to bring new ideas and innovation to the market keep me challenged.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I used to ask this question in job interviews earlier in my career, and I find a 5-year horizon to be a difficult one to envision with specific detail these days because so much changes every day. I’d say that Reebok and the adidas Group offer me tremendous opportunity to continue to lead and inspire a team within the sports and active lifestyle industry.

What does success look like to you?
To me, success is all about respect. There are always measurable goals that we strive for, and those are important. However, I think it’s just as important how you get there, and whether you earn the respect of those around you along the way.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
So far, I would say that taking on my current role as Vice President of the Reebok brand in Canada is something I’m very proud of. In just under a year, it has really challenged and motivated me, and has provided me with a great opportunity to grow and develop my business and leadership skills.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
First, act with integrity, and treat everyone around you with respect and consideration. This helps you establish a reputation and name for yourself that can be just as influential in securing your next career move as what’s on your resume. Second, remember and value the balance between work, family, friends, and yourself. This helps keep life in perspective, and also makes you a more productive person in your work world.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I’ve recently taken on a role as an Honorary Chair for the Princess Margaret “Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer” event. Reebok is a sponsor, and the event is personally important to me as well since I lost my father to leukemia a few years ago. It’s a great opportunity to help get people active while raising funds for a great organization and a cause that unfortunately touches too many.

What to you is notable?
Genuine passion, and being able to laugh at oneself. And the Leafs winning the Cup, timing TBD, will be notable too.

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