CDM Media Turns Eight: Mark Southam Interview

As we gear up to celebrate CDM Media’s eighth anniversary, we’re sharing interviews with our longest tenured employees about their fondest and funniest memories and what CDM Media means to them (with classic photos, of course). Hope you enjoy.

Mark Southam

Tell us about your role at CDM Media. 

Well that’s a tough one as frankly I don’t really think I have a set role.  I don’t mean that as if I am lacking direction as I know all to well what we are driving for here in NYC and the goals we have to hit, but the role is unique to any other area within the business as it is a new team, new culture and new company in its own right.  My day-to-day will always be different as we adapt and change to business needs.  This time last year we were the fledgling team fighting for revenue, and now with close to 20 people and looking to grow further we are a different business (still fighting for revenue though).  So as to my role I suppose its sometimes I am the revenue producer, the confidant for a struggling team member, the recruiter, the teacher, and then as the team will tell you…the enforcer.

Why did you join CDM Media? How many years have you been on board? 

Imagine this.  I was sitting at home enjoying the English summer (which was horizontal rain at that time) and the phone goes off.  My old boss was on the phone catching up when out of the blue says he is starting up a company in Hawaii.  One week and a long 24-hour flight later, I was there.  At the time we didn’t have anything near what we have now: great offices, salary, benefits, commission packages and people.  I think we were even lacking a working phone and email.  So there are two answers to why I joined: first to see Hawaii, and second was to work for a guy who I trust and regard highly.  I stayed because of that latter and the fact that we started crushing it!

How has CDM Media impacted your career?

Lol…I just checked the wiki definition of career. “career is an individual’s journey through learning, work and other aspects of life”  Be that I was 23 years young when I started, and that definition says it all.  I’ve been lucky to go from UK to Hawaii, Hawaii to Chicago, Chicago to NYC as well as a host of other venues.  I have been surrounded by persons both internally and at our events who I regard as the smartest and best. I have learned and lived.  I have been here long enough that I was a young adult when I joined and have grown up at CDM, although you wouldn’t know it when I sticky tape the phones together.  Whether I continue on into my 40s or leave tomorrow I will always look and smile about CDM as it has been a tremendous source of joy.

Do you have a most memorable experience?

I’ve been here so long so they have been too numerous to say.  As my answer to the earlier question I did some growing in CDM so not all memories are pleasant as is life, but the good far, far outweighs the bad.  Eek that sounds melodramatic…  But as I say CDM has always been a tremendous source of joy.  But here are several in no particular order…  Hawaiian booze cruise, treasure hunt, interviewing Heather, Glenn’s balloon outfit/blue steel, golfing in a hurricane, NYC, hitting D Rose car after he tried to run me and to dog over, Ryder Cup, Giulio turning up with battleship of wine in a pram vs baby one night, or picking an upset Ben up from airport on 1st day after he lost his luggage.  More recently NYC and our new team and office that looks over two of the most iconic buildings in the world.

What is your favorite thing about working at CDM Media?

C’mon, really? I can’t answer that.  I’m old now and my memory is getting worse.  Plus that means choosing from the above.  I plead the fifth.

If CDM Media were a person, what would you buy as an anniversary present? 

CDM is a little more than a person to me.  Be that I left my family behind in UK nearly 8 years ago; it has become somewhat of a surrogate family to me.  You don’t always get along with your family as I am sure we can all attest to.  But they are family and regardless of the love hate stage you are at with them, you mostly love them.  I don’t have a gift for CDM that comes close to what is has and continues to give me.  I hope that it can do similar to others.

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