CEO, Active International
Lifetime Achievement Award
Alan Elkin began his career in 1973 at Kaiser Broadcasting in New York City. Alan, along with the team developed and transformed Kaiser from ailing to profitable within two years. Alan was then transferred to Chicago as Midwest manager. He was later brought back to New York as the SVP of National Sales and manager of sales across all Field Communication’s offices.
In 1984, Alan and Arthur Wagner launched Active International, from Alan’s kitchen.
Over the course of 36 years, Alan has transformed Active International from a small start-up to a global company with offices in 17 countries and over 850 employees.
Alan showed himself as a true visionary, understanding that each individual country had its own laws, culture, personality, and market dynamics. He also recognized that each country’s Managing Director needed to be of their respective country. Alan spent an enormous amount of time in each country, meeting with media providers, both private as well as government-run. He modeled the international division on the U.S. operations, while remaining sensitive to the uniqueness of each country.
Alan also recognized that there were underperforming assets in both the U.S. and around the world. He met with multinational companies and was able to create a way for these companies to dispose of their underperforming assets in exchange for media. In so doing, he created a global trade credit as an alternative currency to either dollars, euros or pesos.
In 2008, Alan recognized China as a major opportunity. He spent an enormous amount of time in China, meeting with media providers such as CCTV, Shanghai Media Group and Beijing Television, among others.
In 2010, he recognized the need for Active to move into digital media, while simultaneously growing linear media through organic growth & acquisitions.
At the very core of Active’s business is its relationship with all media providers. Alan and his team have cultivated unique and enduring relationships with all the media, which has created win-win situations for all parties. These unique relationships have endured 36 years of business, in both the domestic and international arenas.
Alan has also been recognized with many awards, including but not limited to: Ernst & Young’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year Award,’ applauding his entrepreneurial accomplishments, and British American Business Inc.’s Averell Harriman International Trade Award, in recognition of Active’s global accomplishments.
Alan believes that community involvement is as important as business leadership and, through the company’s ActiveCares program, has contributed to over 600 charities since 1997.
Alan’s thirst for risk, entrepreneurship and adventure is insatiable. It informs and enhances the culture of Active’s entire workforce. Alan sees solutions for all business-related problems, and expects this same solution-oriented, agile mindset from his team. He has created an immensely successful business model of innovation and business solutions.