DEREK GENTILE:
 
DEREK GENTILE




 
 
 
 
 
President and CEO, EEI Global, Inc., an experiential marketing firm in Rochester Hills. His impact on the organization and the industry was reflected in his management of the Chrysler account from 1990 to 2000, during which he increased revenue to $25 million from an initial $4 million. Gentile has also played a major role in developing his company’s technology capabilities, leading the development and implementation of proprietary exhibit and event management software. He created the graphics unit of EEI and established its mobile marketing component, a capability that has attracted an ever-increasing amount of business and acclaim. In addition to exhibits, graphics, and event-management software, the company provides such experiential marketing services as strategy, design, engineering, fabrication, and trouping. Gentile managed the purchase and logistics of the organization’s move to a newly built headquarters in Rochester Hills. The rebranding of the company as EEI Global was carried out in 2008 under his guidance. Gentile’s deep experience derives, in part, from his work around the globe, including eight different markets in Asia, as well as in Europe, Latin America, and North America. Gentile served as president of the influential Exhibit Designers and Producers Association in 2007, and has been recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of its “40 Under 40” business leaders. Gentile attended Wayne State University and Henry Ford Community College.


WHERE BORN: "Mt. Clemens."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "My father, Dave Gentile. He educated me in this industry since I was a very young. I watched and learned from him. His no-nonsense street-smart education in the exhibition industry is more valuable than any book I could ever read. Another person is Henry Ford, who always impressed me as a young person as someone you’d want to learn more about. It’s incredible what he was able to build with such a limited background and education."

LAST BOOK READ: "Big Russ and Me by Tim Russert and Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company by Tom Searcy."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Work hard, play hard."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "Diverse, non-traditional, face-to-face marketing and global capabilities. In particular, designing here and being able to deploy there, meaning anywhere in the world. EEI Global is in a good position to meet the needs of non-traditional face-to-face marketing. It continues to grow and we see that as the largest growth segment in the industry in the long- and mid-term."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "Garmin GPS and my BlackBerry."

FAVORITE PLACE: "I have many. I like big cities but also open country, too – like a remote mountaintop anywhere in the world. I’ve been to enough of them, including the northern Yukon Territory in Northern Alaska."

FAVORITE HOBBIES: "Any physical outdoor activity – running, cycling, fishing, hunting, motorsports, watersports."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Italian."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "I like to dance."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "As a loving father and successful businessman."