Meet the CEO: A conversation with Jeff Katz from DEFINITION 6
Meet Abbey and Finn’s dog dad, Jeff Katz. While we get to work closely with our CEO every day, we realize most of the internet isn’t as lucky, which is why we decided to have a chat with him so you could all get to know him better. He shared some insightful thoughts and some curious facts with us, and now it’s your turn to get to know him better.
Q: Let’s start from the beginning. Where did you grow up?
JK: Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida.
Q: What was your dream job growing up?
JK: I wanted to become a professional tennis player.
Q: How did you break into the industry?
JK: It all began when I joined a startup where I could leverage my business acumen and interest in communications technology.
Q: What’s your favorite aspect of being a CEO?
JK: I’d say the opportunity to impact the careers and future of our team, partners, and clients—and working to earn the trust needed to make that impact.
Q: What’s your most memorable moment at DEFINITION 6?
JK: There are so many, but one of my favorites is when we concepted and produced the Coca Cola Happiness Machine “viral video”—which, in addition to being breakthrough, award-winning work, resulted in the signing of a talent agreement with a student that paid her enough to cover her college tuition. In the running, too, is that time we ran around NYC with a real Heisman Trophy for a social media campaign. And having six team members welcome new babies into the world in less than four months! Also, every Thanksgiving lunch with the whole company is a memorable moment.
Q: What do you love the most about DEFINITION 6?
JK: I love seeing the work and results our team delivers to our clients when we combine data, technology, and world-class creative.
Q: How would you describe the future of the industry, in 6 words or less?
JK: Performance partnerships with brands and talent.
Q: What are you most excited about for the future of our industry?
JK: I believe digital transformation and maturity are at the center of the plate for every brand, which is an opportunity for agencies—like us—that deliver on the integration of data, creative, and technology.
Q: Which brand or agency you think is at the top of the game right now?
JK: Has any brand ever been more diversified and customer-driven than Amazon? I don’t think so.
Q: What are some traits you believe every CEO should have?
JK: Personally, I’d say: Commitment, accountability, courage, empathy, and confidence.
Q: What’s a piece of advice you’d give someone who wants to run a company one day?
JK: Start being the CEO of your job today, no matter what level you are in at your organization. Think beyond yourself; always know what matters to your end client. Help others succeed, help them figure out how to lead and get results regardless of their title or pay scale.
Q: What lessons did 2020 teach you about this industry?
JK: It reminded us of how we will always be a people business, and how we (as a company and industry) are more meaningfully connected with each other now than ever before. Early in the pandemic, the agencies that proactively and transparently focused on their people and clients were the winners. On the market side, without asking for it, every brand had their digital channels audited by their customers, prospects, employees, and supply chain. The leading providers in our industry are those that are critical to the strategy and execution of brand experience.
Q: What’s a brand you’d love to partner with?
JK: I apologize in advance for the cheesy answer here, but any brand that is committed to the journey of providing a best-in-class brand experience—one that leverages data, technology, and creative—would be a great partner.
Q: How about outside work; what do you look forward to doing the most?
JK: Spending time with my wife and dogs…after a round of golf.
Q: Do you have any special skills or hobbies?
JK: I’m ready to build or fix almost anything. (Thank you to all the talent on YouTube!)
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
JK: Got to be Thanksgiving, especially the week before, when everyone at DEFINITION 6 cooks for each other.
Q: What’s your favorite movie quote?
JK: “Just because you are a character doesn’t mean that you have character.”
–Wolf, Pulp Fiction
Q: And what’s your favorite book?
JK: The One Minute Manager was the first business book my dad gave me, and I still have the original hardback.
Now that you know a bit more about our CEO, you probably have a few more questions. Leave them in the comments below and we’ll make sure Jeff personally responds!