The Talented Mr. Cantena
Reflecting on his career, Catena's learned many lessons: "This business doesn't tolerate too many mistakes," he warns. "Clients are always questioning your decisions. … I can really say that during my career—and thank God—my mistakes have been few and far between. … In addition to watching my own work, my eyes always have to be on all of our accounts, every day," Catena notes. "It is a fine balance, though, for I know I can't submerge myself completely in every account. I've had to learn—for my sake and for the growth of my employees—to delegate and only to intervene when problems come up."
Although Catena is a high-profile player in the agency space, he remains humble. He's an active member in many industry associations, such as the Advertising Production Club of New York (APC), the Graphic Communi-cations Association (GCA) and the Digital Distribution of Advertising for Publications (DDAP).
"I met Carmine through the APC," recalls Victor Basile, senior vice president/director of graphic services, D'Arcy Advertising, New York City. "He's incredibly intelligent and smart about the agency business. … It's nice to know that there are people out there who share a common vision and are willing to work hard to achieve some common goals."
"Carmine puts 100 percent of himself into this business," agrees Horan Imaging Solutions' Frank Maguire, Jr.. "He's also a great resource to many people. You can turn to Carmine if you have a problem, and if he doesn't know the answer to your problem, he'll find the answer."
"I describe Carmine as the god-father of the industry," remarks Brad Mintz, vice president/manager of graphic services for McCann Erickson, New York City. "He's the Mario Puzo of advertising. He's the story teller. You don't just say hello to Carmine. You hug and kiss. It's an experience unto itself. And you know that he's a guy that will go to the mattresses for you."