Inside the Power of Peer Advantage with David Schwed

February 25, 2016

David L. Schwed, CIO & General Counsel for MASS Communications, was recently profiled on the Vistage blog, Executive Street. He and his partners discussed the power of peer advantage, a concept that is truly the driving force of Vistage.

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David is a member of Vistage NYC CEO group. He manages MASS Communications information technology organization, plays a key role in formulating the company’s strategic direction, and is responsible for the oversight of all legal matters. He has more than seventeen years of Information Technology, Information Security, and Risk Management experience. Given his particular expertise and that the inclusion of a collaborative, group-oriented approach was so essential to the creation of MASS Communications, I followed up with David about his Vistage experience.


Why did you decide to join Vistage?

I decided that I needed to join when I saw my partners’ excitement when they would return from their monthly Vistage meetings. There was such an incredible amount of knowledge that was gained from just that first session.

What is your most important take away to date?

That the problems we/I face running our company are not unique and that many businesses go through the same pains.  It’s become somewhat therapeutic to be in a room with other business owners and discuss openly challenges and to solicit feedback.

What value does Vistage provide for you?

Definitely the different outlook on my company’s challenges from others in different industries.  It’s great to hear how other companies are addressing similar challenges.  The speakers have also all been amazing.  I’ve been introduced to books and methodologies that were completely unknown to me prior to joining.


Peer advisory groups are the best kept secret to an organization’s success. Learn more about the influence of peer groups in The Power of Peers, out March 22.

Congratulations Amy Goldsmith on 5 Years of Vistage Trusted Advisor Service

February 11, 2016


Amy B. Goldsmith is a partner at Tarter, Krinsky & Drogin. She not only provides practical legal advice and connections to grow clients’ businesses, she also loves to discuss and write about intellectual property. Amy is director and officer of the New York Women’s Bar Association, a member of the American Bar Association and the International Trademark Association (INTA) and is on the Board of Directors of Savvy Ladies, a non-profit whose mission is to educate women to be financially savvy.

Her professional passion and a drive for excellence have marked Amy’s five years as a Vistage NYC Trusted Advisor. She participates with enthusiasm and consistency and embodies the Vistage value to have a passion for learning. It has been an honor to see such an accomplished member grow over the past five years and learn from her wisdom and experience.

Vistage Trusted Advisors not only help their peers but are also a resource for Vistage CEOs in New York who may want a second opinion or to to gain fresh perspectives, solve problems, and focus on opportunities.

Amy was generous enough to share some thoughts for other CEO’s in Vistage or those considering a CEO peer group:

“Regularly attending the meetings and triads is only the first step. The key lesson Vistage is teaching me is how to listen and focus. Listening and focusing helps me to incorporate the lessons I’m learning into my daily work and personal lives. My Vistage lessons include asking questions of my family, colleagues and clients: not only “are you satisfied?” but “what else may I do to help you? How can I improve our relationship?” Often, people are afraid to ask a question that may have a negative response. But Vistage has taught me to embrace that potential and learn from it.”

Thank you, Amy. We look forward to the next five years of growth and development!

Paula Marcus Joins Vistage New York CEO Peer Group

February 8, 2016

Paula Marcus

Welcome Paula Marcus, the CEO of Ayers International Corp, a woman owned business that distributes specialty chemicals, who joined Vistage NYC in Manhattan. Ayers International has been servicing the needs of the chemical industry for over 31 years in the fields of oil industry, mining, hair coloring, water treatment, paints and coatings, personal care, contract manufacturers, waterproof resins, thickeners, cable blocking and non-wovens.

We are delighted to have Paula join our CEO advisory peer group. Her unique perspective will help all of our members did deeper on challenging and important issues chief executes face.

Welcome Bill Duerr to Vistage NYC

January 29, 2016


Welcome Bill Duerr, President of Hatteras to our VistageNYC CEO private advisory board. Hatteras is a Manhattan commercial printer that provides graphic communication solutions which include creative, data, print, logistics and digital solutions. As a former Lacrosse coach, Bill brings his passion for learning to the group. We are delighted Bill has joined!

Welcome Helen Irving to Vistage New York!

January 27, 2016

Helen Irving

Helen Irving is the President and CEO of LiveOnNY, a nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organization  dedicated to the recovery of organs and tissue for transplant in the greater New York metropolitan area. Her organization literally saves lives and you can too. If you have a New York State ID, you can register here. Here in New York. there are over 10,000 people waiting for an organ transplant. By signing up today, you can help save lives! Did you know that just ONE organ donor can save up to EIGHT lives?

We are so glad that Helen has joined our Vistage New York CEO group.

The Simple Secret to Making Better Decisions: Tap into the power of triads

January 14, 2014

Check out the article at

3 Tips for Great Management

December 13, 2013

I am so proud of my daughter who has been my best student—brings real issues, listens, takes action, and reports what happens. Here is what she wrote in her blog. Please follow her at

Dear Fellow Managers,

We suck. Before you curse me and defend yourself, I say this out of love—and it applies to me as well. As a group (supervisors, managers) we are ineffective.  For the most part we have been on the job for TEN years before we get any specific leadership training. For years we often are winging it or maintaining crappy systems that our own untrained managers created.

We can’t be afraid to learn what we don’t know OR be critical of what we are doing.

It takes a lot of courage to look at ourselves and see where we are failing.  The higher up you go the harder it gets—but the results are that more powerful.

Read the rest at

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