Meet Ed Mitzen

Success In Advertising

Founder of Fingerpaint | Philanthropist | ForbesBooks Author

Ed Mitzen is an unusual success story in the advertising world. Over the past 25 years, Ed has started 3 healthcare marketing firms - consisting of two health and wellness advertising agencies and one healthcare marketing consulting group - whose combined revenues are north of half a billion dollars. At Fingerpaint, the Saratoga-based company he founded in 2008, he works with some of the most recognized brands in the country. However, these are not the facts that make Ed so unique. In his decade-spanning career, he has never laid someone off or made an ad.

Ed is a true son of Upstate New York. A native of Voorheesville, NY, Mitzen originally hoped to play running back at Syracuse but was instead asked to try out as a kicker. Though Mitzen regrets passing on this opportunity, fate put him on a different track.

After earning his B.S. from Syracuse and an MBA from the University of Rochester, Mitzen became a healthcare sales representative. At age 30, Ed was working seventy hours a week and had two kids at home. He knew something had to change; he decided to set out on his own in the world of advertising with a focus on healthcare. Today, his company Fingerpaint has 250 employees and is approaching $60 million in revenue.

Though to this day, he has still never made an ad himself, Mitzen knows how to assemble and retain winning teams. From the beginning, he decided to bet on a people-first strategy, which, in part, is responsible for his 99% approval on Glassdoor.

“I don’t know how to make an ad... But I do know how to get the most out of people in the advertising business, and the key to all of it is empathy.”

This empathy extends well beyond Fingerpaint's doors. Mitzen ensures his company is sincerely involved in local charities—the company even has a full-time philanthropy leader. In addition, Ed and his wife Lisa have personally pledged one million dollars to build a local homeless shelter.

Ed is the proud father of Emily, Nick, and Grace. He and Lisa live on a farm just outside of Saratoga.

Connect With Ed Visit Fingerpaint's Website

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