January 01, 2019
An Interview with Liz Margolis, Executive Vice President, Corporate Operations and Planning
Liz Margolis is responsible for leading operational activities for Active’s U.S. Operation. She joined Active in 1992 as a media assistant and has advanced into positions with increased responsibility, including Media Coordinator, Buyer, Account Director, Systems & Operations Manager, and Associate Director of Media Operations. Most recently, she was SVP, Director of Media Operations. She received a B.A. with a specialty in international business from St. Thomas Aquinas College.
With 35 years of experience, Active International (activeinternational.com) is a global financial solutions company that drives performance and improves business outcomes for leading brands. A data-driven company, with media as a core competency, Active operates a full-service omnichannel media agency. In addition to media, Active brings to bear a broad portfolio of competencies such as Asset Disposition/Merchandise Sales, Real Estate, Retail Marketing, Travel and Hospitality, Freight & Logistics, and Lighting. Through the application of its core business model, Active is able to create financial benefits to serve its clients. Active International is based in New York and has offices in 15 countries.
Will you discuss your career progression at Active and how your role has evolved?
When I first started, the company only had about 70 employees. I started in an entry-level position as a media assistant. Through the years, we grew at a rapid pace and as we evolved into new areas of focus, we had to also institute new ways of reporting and transacting. My role evolved as we grew. Most of the positions I have held have been self-created based on the evolving needs of the organization.
I was at the forefront of deciding what processes and improvements we needed, which naturally led to me running the overall operations of the organization.
How critical has it been for your role to have close collaboration with Active’s business leaders and to be a part of business strategy?
It’s vital. I have earned the trust of my colleagues because they understand that my focus is on growth, innovation and the development of others. My role spans from technology to all facets of the organization today. It’s critical that all parties align on the growth strategies we have, and that we have a well-documented plan that has buy-in from all levels. It is very important that we develop the tools to support these growth strategies.
How do you define Active’s business today?
We provide customized solutions for organizations. We position ourselves with the client at the forefront of how we operate. We are here to help our clients achieve more. Corporate trade is within our DNA and it is the backbone of what we do daily. However, we are much more than that; we build deep relationships with our clients and media vendors in an effort to deliver solutions and insights that are valuable and actionable.
How meaningful it is to be part of a company that values diversity, especially for young people joining Active?
I share my experience at Active with everyone so they can see what is possible. All employees have the potential to grow. If they’re good, solid workers who are diligent and go the extra mile, the company will be good to them.
When it comes to diversity, the company chooses to focus on who is best qualified for the job. In Active’s case, there are a lot of women who are qualified and are empowered to share ideas for the growth of the company.
What are your priorities going forward and are you happy with the progress you have made in your role at Active?
I don’t know that I will ever be satisfied. With technology changing so fast, something that worked six months ago might not be the best solution any longer. We have to continuously look at the processes, infrastructure and talent and evaluate whether we’re still as effective as we need to be.