We have been looking forward to sharing this interview with Daniel Lattanzio, who shares with us his experience after 21 years at WSI Head Office.
How would you describe yourself?
Easy-going, good sense of humor, loyal but driven and competitive. Most of all, I’m a family man, married 27 years with two lovely daughters.
What were you like in high school?
Driven and competitive, a team leader with lots of different friends from different cliques. I was an athlete and musician, (played football, soccer and baseball and part of the stage band – 1st trumpet), also honors role with top marks in Math and English. Made lifelong friendships with many people from highschool to University but especially with a group of 4 friends and we are still close friends today, my “wolfpack of 1 became 5”☺.
How long have you been with WSI?
Been with WSI since March 1996.
What did you do before life at WSI?
Before WSI, I was self employed. I had a real-estate investment company that acquired ownership into land parcels to apply for rezoning and land development. Also partnered with my brother in a fast-food franchise, built up to 32 locations across Canada before selling the business.
Why did you Join WSI?
At the time, after selling the existing business, I was walking through a trade show and heard the co-founder of WSI say, “we will no longer have a fax number on our business cards”. To give you some background, just before selling our fast-food franchise, we heavily invested in two computers, with accounting programs and storage units that would send daily sales activity to our main computer. It was an overnight download process and always interrupted if the phone rang. On top of that, we also invested a pretty sum in a photocopier/fax machine so we didn’t have to receive faxes on rolled paper, (I’m dating myself). So we were excited to have to latest technology and the fax was here to stay right??
Well when I heard Dan Monaghan stating the fax is going to be obsolete and we would have email IDs and GPS coordinates for our office locations… I was hooked. Having a passion for technology but not being techy, I was consumed by what was being said and needed to be part of it. Started as a consultant to help build the franchise concept and never looked back.
What was your journey like to get where you are today?
At WSI, I witnessed the development and growth of the digital revolution first hand. We started as web development company and then quickly evolved into consulting and education to where we are today as the largest global network of digital marketing agencies. In growing this franchise concept in an ever changing industry, (IBM has said 3 months in the digital world is like 1 year in every other industry), we’ve built a very agile company.
We’ve made many mistakes but came out much stronger for it. I was able to see first-hand the power of a global network and how an idea becomes a trend and then becomes your next important business offering. Global knowledge was at the company’s disposal and the company created a pipeline of communication with all it’s franchisees to harness that power to where we are today.
Looking back at 20+ years with WSI - what are some of the highlights you remember most and why?
Travelling the world to opening offices in more than 87 countries – I had never really travelled before WSI and with every trip, we managed to see a little pocket of the world.
The birth of eCommerce – witnessing and being part of this revolution
Mobile technology – understanding people’s behavior and how a portable screen with so much more power than the early computers has helped to shape our generation and still to shape our future.
What has been your biggest accomplishment at WSI?
Helping to build a global network of Digital Agencies. Helping many of our staff members achieve their goals, whether it was growth here at WSI or their next career opportunity. Working alongside my brother in accomplishing and creating a great business development team. Creating life-long friendships and mentorships with the co-founders. Being part of building this family at WSI.
Tell me how you've approached the change that has happened while at WSI?
Embraced all the changes by dedicating time to learn what’s new, what’s important and then to use it in everyday activities and to share that knowledge with co-workers. WSI has always re-invested in its people so taking advantage of trainings and certifications and the like has always been great.
Describe your typical work week?
Working with team to help achieve company goals and their personal goals
Working with applicants that are looking to make a career change. Helping them to evaluate themselves as entrepreneurs and evaluate WSI as their best fit to achieve their career goals (which revolve around control and independence in their life for a balance between business and family)
Helping to diversify and enhance existing agencies business by adding the WSI franchise opportunity
Reviewing company analytics and driving new ideas and strategies to help build and grow the company, both locally and globally
What is your favorite quote?
“Real people do Real things.”
Do you have any skills or talents that most people don't know about?
I’ve been here a long time so most people know me. What they may not know is that I love to cook and garden (I maintain a mostly herb and vegetable garden). I also have great pride in my Italian heritage so every year we, as a family, make wine, jar tomato sauce, and make and dry cured meats.
What type of holidays do you like to take?
Family trips – most favorite destination is touring Italy, which lets me visit the beach, go sightseeing, do wine tastings, and of course, trying all the delicious food.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
Spend time with family and friends, wine tasting, fishing, cooking.
Could you tell us about an average day in your life?
5:30am start of the day
60 minute workout
Walk the dog every morning – excuse to get fresh air and meet neighbors
Arrive at the office and prep for our daily 10 minute huddle/meeting
Throughout the day I’m helping applicants realize their dream of self-employment. Also help our staff/team to meet their business and personal goals. I know each one of my team members personal goals and I get great satisfaction in seeing them become reality
Also help internal department work in sync for business development at WSI, between support/training/master franchisees/supply chain
Develop, manage and create company goals, team initiatives
Closely work with our Broker consultants and conduct webinars and virtual meetings.
What do you think are the best skills that you bring to WSI?
Communicating — reading and understanding information, listening, questioning, negotiating, using technology effectively.
How would someone get your special attention?
Talk to me about your dreams and goals and how you are planning to achieve them.
Talk to me about Hockey - specifically the Toronto Maple Leafs :)
Have you read any good books lately?
On a scale of one to 10, how weird are you?
I’m about a 6.
How would you describe yourself in one word?
What goal do you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?
Family Trip to Greece.
How has technology changed the way you work?
Made communication on multiple levels much easier, and getting access to information and knowledge in a moment’s time.
What would be your personal motto?
Whatever you do, make it great!
If you worked in a restaurant, what role would you want?
If we went to happy hour, what would you order?
If you could be anywhere other than here talking to me - right this minute, where would you be?
In Tuscany, sitting under a pergola, sipping some red wine, and snacking on fresh baked bread with olive oil.