For you, Mike, seguimos adelante.


Michael Lotito served as a teacher to our students, the Board Chair of our organization, the architect of the Fellows program, and, most importantly, a dear friend to all of us. His wisdom and encouragement shapes so much of our work, and his legacy lives on in each of our students and team members. When Mike passed away in the fall of 2018 after losing his battle to cancer, we resolved ourselves to continue in the same spirit of hope, compassion and fierce excellence that Mike’s life represents. We are grateful for his influence on each of us, and eager to continue the work that he began and so faithfully carried forward


About Michael Lotito

Professionally, Mike was both a corporate Chief Executive and successful entrepreneur who created value and built brands for over thirty years.   As founder and Chief Executive Officer of a Media IQ, a New York based media audit firm specializing in evaluating ad buying efficiency for advertisers and their agencies, Mike created innovations that helped clients maximize media effectiveness. The company was purchased by Procurian, Inc. in 2012, and then subsequently purchased by Accenture in December 2013. Before becoming a successful start-up entrepreneur, Mike held a wide variety of Ad Agency positions that provided him insight into every part of the industry. He capped off his ad agency career as President and COO of Initiative Media North America, a $7 Billion media agency with 1200 employees in 15 offices throughout the United States. As a practitioner, he was both media planner and TV buyer for over a decade at McCann Erickson and Benton & Bowles. As a business leader, he has been a Media Director on a US and Worldwide level, as well as Director of Account Management, all at Ammirati Puris Lintas. His distinguished work was recognized by his peers in 1995 when he was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s prestigious Hall of Achievement, an honor that recognizes outstanding leaders in the communication industry who are under the age of 40. He was an Independent Director on the Board of BigFoot Interactive (2002-2005), an outbound email marketing firm which sold to Epsilon during his term.  To all who have known Mike, he is forever seen as a faithful friend, willing to challenge you to see bigger.  Mike was husband to Jen, father to Tom, Mary, Mark and Sophia and friend to an army of people around the world. To know Mike was and is to know unwavering, authentic love. Mike’s legacy and heart for others will forever be ingrained in the fiber of Hands Offering Hope and every one he continues to impact.

About the Michael Lotito Fellowship

During the first year of the Institute, students find their inner voice and recognize the value of their feelings and opinions.   When they are selected to return for a second year as Fellows, we focus on helping the students translate their passion into a marketable skill, as we believe you can better give back to the community once you are able to earn enough to establish your independence. As such, our Fellows program was created to draw out students’ passions and help them believe they can actually pursue those interests. We do this by teaching them how to pursue a career track which they will find fulfilling and rewarding. We cover CV creation, personal budgeting, mock interviewing and job search basics, including presentation training.  Then, we ask the students to present themselves to a panel of judges using powerpoint to help them internalize and truly believe in their potential. Our ultimate goal is to start every Fellows graduate towards the fulfillment of their dream, whether it includes higher education in their field or trade or immediate gainful employment.