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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Ralph Destino, Jr. Founder/President of The Legacy Group

Here at Whom You Know, we are strong supporters of The Legacy Group and have featured all three members as Movers and Shakers:

Kick Kennedy:

Consuelo Costin:

Sarah Delano Roosevelt:

However, it is this Mover and Shaker, Ralph Destino, Jr., who had the idea. The visionary behind the Legacy Group, Ralph Destino, Jr. brings more than a decade of expertise in sales, advertising and entertainment to his leadership position at the company.

Mr. Destino is the managing member of Appian Way Investments, a wholly-owned real estate company specializing in acquisitions, development and sales of residential properties in Miami Beach, the Hamptons and St. Barts.

Previously, Mr. Destino held senior positions within the advertising industry, including Vice President of Niche Media, publisher of luxury lifestyle publications Gotham, Hamptons, among others, and Director of Advertising Sales at Manhattan File Magazine. During his tenure, Mr. Destino secured major accounts with Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier and Mont Blanc. He also played a critical role in orchestrating the launch of Gotham magazine.

Mr. Destino began his career as a sales representative for TruColor, Inc., a Miami-based printing and graphic arts firm. He was soon promoted to vice president after acquiring major new clients, including Conde Nast Publications. Following his success with TruColor, Inc., Mr. Destino relocated to California, where he opened his own entertainment management company. TYSM: Told Ya So Management negotiated contracts with entertainment entities including International Creative Management and the UPN Network.

A graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, Mr. Destino is a former actor who has appeared in such films as Carlito’s Way, directed by Brian DePalma and starring Al Pacino.

He has a son, Henry Destino, and resides in New York City. Whom You Know is so pleased to present him as our latest Mover and Shaker!

Peachy Deegan interviewed Ralph Destino, Jr. for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: How did the Legacy Group begin?
Ralph Destino Jr.: It started a few years back when I began to understand what my own father's Legacy was on branding, particularly as the Chairman & President of Cartier for 32 years. I had witnessed every one of his business decisions, and I thought if I could run the same proven marketing playbook, I could successfully launch a new business that also had a philanthropic mission at its core.

How did you arrive at the choices of the three fabulous women we have already featured?
I knew from the start that to be meaningful our Legacy venture had to have family names that were not only famous but were also embedded in the history and heritage of our great country. At the very top of that catagory would be names like Kennedy, Vanderbilt, and Roosevelt. I set out to reach each of those families through mutual friends and soon met with Kick Kennedy, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, and Sara Delano Roosevelt, three young women who were enthusiastic about my idea and quickly came on board. We are now wonderful friends too.

How would you compare and contrast the advertising, real estate and charitable institution industries?
What's similar is that each needs selling ability: sell an ad, sell a home, sell a donor on a worthwhile cause, etc..The contrast can be found looking inwards. Convincing three of the most famous families in the world to enter the mercantile business by commercializing their names for charity has left an indelable mark on my heart. They are three of the most important women in my life (excluding my dear mother of course!), and I care about them very much. Together, we will give away money that hopefully will reflect the will of the consumer.

What has been the most fun aspect of acting?
Working for 3 days with Al Pacino.

Do you have future acting ambitions?
That part of my life is over. Today, I act like a Dad for my son, Henry.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
My Father

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?
Anywhere on the upper east side. I see myself as a child on almost every street corner. I love my childhood memories.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?

What is your favorite drink?
Diet coke

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
21 Club

What is your favorite Manhattan book?
Bronx is Burning

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
Being selected to the soccer varsity team at St. David's, my grammar school

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
Eat great pizza

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
Discovering Willem DeKooning in 8th grade, and hearing the Grateful Dead sing, "St. Stephen" at MSG in the early 80's

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
The Mets are overrated, and the Yankees are underrated.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it?

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
That I have put all my resources and heart and soul in the Legacy Group. Failure is not an option, and we hope that consumers will vote with their dollars and by our products for the same reason they buy Paul Newman's food products : quality and philanthropy, working hand in hand.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
By leaving a message on

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