About Michael A. Sisti
Mike has devoted his entire life to having fun. It’s how he handles stress, deals with mundane assignments, and sharpens his creative skills. And he is always looking for the next adventure. By the time he turned eighteen, Mike felt like he had already done it all. His first sixteen years were spent on the tough streets of Brooklyn, avoiding confrontations with the gang members of the Flatbush Tigers, selling illegal fireworks, and graduating high school without ever doing any homework or study assignments (really mundane). When he moved to Bergen County, New Jersey at age seventeen, he got married, attended and quit college, took a full-time job with his family’s printing business, and became a father with the birth of his first son.
With his family growing, Mike began his entrepreneurial career in earnest in 1959 when he established a printing and mailing business in Rockland County, NY. This was followed by a series of sales positions for various printing companies and the launch of a printing brokerage and graphic design firm that he ran until the early eighties. In each of these succeeding endeavors Mike applied more of his strategic thinking and design concepts to his service offerings. As his creativity emerged and blossomed, his clients and colleagues urged him to offer creative services as a full time service. And in 1982 he founded Image Concepts, a small advertising and sales promotion agency that grew rapidly. Over the next ten years the agency went through good and bad years with the addition of two partners, plus a few acquisitions and mergers. In 1992, the agency broke up with each partner going a separate way.
At that point, Mike and his wife Sara founded Sisti & Others, Inc. one of the industry’s first virtual marketing agencies. They provided branding, marketing and advertising consulting services, without any in-house staff. The concept of delivering high-level creative and professional services, without the big agency overhead, was an immediate success, attracting large and small clients from all over the northeast. One of these clients, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, signed a two-year contract with the agency for an overhaul of their marketing communications department.
Less than a year into the contract, Mike went over to the dark side when he accepted a position with the client and was named Chief Communications Officer. In that position, he was responsible for strategic planning, creative development and production of all marketing disciplines. He managed a budget of $7 million and a staff of 25. His innovative communications programs have been nationally recognized and cited as best industry practices. These include an award-winning series of one-hour television specials that aired on the NBC and ABC affiliates in Rhode Island, a health care magazine, and a TV advertising campaign that has been syndicated in markets around the country. As a result of the large budgets and freedom of execution, Mike achieved the height of success in his career while working for this 2000-employee bureaucracy. Following Mike’s tenure at Blue Cross, he and his wife moved to Florida and re-launched their highly successful consultancy.
Mike has published articles on marketing and has been written up in several newspapers and magazines. For three years he wrote a column called Local Color for an online magazine. (Archived Columns) He provides seminars on marketing and branding for business organizations and employee groups. He also guest lectures at high schools, colleges and universities.
Mike and Sara live in Sarasota, where they continue to have fun running their consulting service, and where they enjoy all the cultural and recreational activities of that vibrant city. And they look forward to spending time with the families of his six adult children that include twelve grandchildren.