Ross Levanto: 40 Under 40 2014

SVP, technology practice group lead, MSLGroup, Boston
Age: 38

An inspiring leader and a brilliant strategist, Ross Levanto is also not afraid to get his hands dirty. As one of the top technology and security specialists at MSLGroup Boston, he’s at the epicenter of the firm’s technology business in North America.

And, as director of the Boston tech practice, he oversees a staff of 60, manages 35 client companies, and is responsible for 50% of the office’s revenue.

Levanto is not only an ace at winning new business, with an impressive track record of one new client per month, but he has also generated significant sums of new revenue from existing clients.

Adept at identifying industry trends, he has formed partnerships with providers of new technologies, while also driving PR programs for some of the most innovative companies in the enterprise software, IT security, and data-center markets. Always ahead of the game, Levanto guided the Boston office’s move into integrated communications more than three years ago, giving the local business a jump on the rest of the industry.

He was integral in setting up the firm’s data security specialty, turning it into the nation’s largest and most experienced group of online security PR experts.

In addition, when Levanto took on the role of tech practice group leader, a main priority was establishing an ongoing training program for current employees and for those thinking of joining the tech practice. The initiative now features bi-weekly training sessions and regular how-to slots in monthly practice group meetings.

Levanto is the embodiment of the "next generation" agency leader, not just because he is consistently ahead of the curve, but also because of his hands-on, no-nonsense approach, according to David Close, MD of MSLGroup Boston.

"Ross engages with clients’ CEOs, CMOs, and CTOs, but he also jumps in to help with the real work," Close explains. "It’s no secret our industry is overrun with complex jargon and unnecessary complication, but he cuts through this to talk with his clients and teams in plain language, keeping them focused on the goals and not dazzled or confused."

 

• For many years, Levanto has played an active role in local and state politics. He is a community organizer for the Democratic Party

• His interest in Democratic politics began when he was an intern at the White House for Vice President Al Gore

• In 2012, Levanto was elected to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. He is currently the chair of the Boston Ward 5 Democratic Committee

• He serves on the frontline of every election, canvassing in Massachusetts and New Hampshire

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