Marketing Maven Howard Lichtman Turns Mentor
Maithri Swamy was completing the first year of her Schulich MBA in Hyderabad, India when she happened upon a multicultural marketing study written by Schulich alumnus Howard Lichtman (JD ’79, MBA ’82).
“I really liked the concept,” remembers Swamy. “Multicultural marketing has been a factor in India for a long time. I was interested in seeing how a country as diverse as Canada would implement it.”
She wrote Lichtman asking for more information. A few short months later, Swamy was in Toronto and knee-deep in planning for the Taste of the Danforth, just one of the high profile events managed by Lichtman’s multicultural marketing firm, EthniCity.
“Internship is like a 601,” says Lichtman of the opportunities he has afforded close to 20 Schulich MBA students, both at EthniCity and its sister company, The Lightning Group, which he founded in 1998. “It helps students apply the classroom theories to real-world client challenges.”
Swamy agrees. “Howard drilled into us the importance of thinking practically and getting beyond the cool idea.” He also emphasized time management, professionalism and the value of “always, always relying on a second set of eyes.”
“Working with Howard over the summer was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” says iMBA candidate Giuseppe Franzé. “I got to apply the skills I learned at school with an exceptional alumnus helping me to master them.”
Lichtman offers insights gained over more than 30 years as both an entrepreneur and the head of marketing and communications at Cineplex Odeon, in addition to creating the American Express Front-of-the-Line program – the redefinition of the theatre industry from being simply about movies and popcorn to being an advertising medium. He is a member of the Devil’s Advocate Panel for Schulich’s Global Management Program, a senior volunteer in the Schulich Toronto Alumni Chapter and he played a key role in the School’s marketing efforts in China. In 2014, Lichtman was recognized for his outstanding contributions with the Alumni Recognition Award.
“I loved my experience at Schulich and I’m grateful for the ability to give back, to make connections and have access to the continuing education I need to remain successful,” he says. “Graduates who don’t stay connected are missing out.”