Mike Zani

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Mike Zani, CEMBA '13

Dec 8

Written by: Mike Zani
12/8/2011 10:08 PM  RssIcon

At the ripe age of 40, I am Senior Finance Manager for the Communications Sector of the Americas for Microsoft Corp.  I hold a B.A. in Accounting from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY, class of 1993.  My professional career began as a Staff Accountant with Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. (still the coolest company I have ever worked for) back when kids still read comic books, and the internet had not yet gone mainstream.  A couple years later, and a comic book industry tailspin, the entrepreneurial juices swelled, and I took a chance on a young awards & recognition franchise, Crown Franchising, as their VP of Finance and Operations.  In the next 5 years we led them through rapid expansion from 20 Northeast locations to over 100 nationwide! 

As a man who is never satisfied, I grew tired of seeing all other entrepreneurial minded folks becoming gazillionaires in the reborn tech industry, and made the leap to a tech startup in 2001.  Pause for a moment.... Tech start up in the middle of 2001....  This would be a good time to acknowledge that I have a knack for a thing called "Bad Timing".  The next few years would be turbulent as I stuck it out in the start-up scene assuming various Finance and Operations leadership roles.  Within this time span, and true to the start-up arena, most of the companies were failures.

Then finally, FINALLY in 2005 the grey skies broke, the sun shined, and I joined a software services company that became a rapid success, and was ultimately acquired by Microsoft in 2006.  After having stock options that did not end up in the fireplace and were actually worth something... I mulled taking some time off.  Then Microsoft offered a finance lead position in New York.  Hmmm...  Recognizing this as the "opportunity of a lifetime", I pounced on the offer and promptly went to go work for Bill Gates (what, Bill Gates left?)... and I have greatly enjoyed my career there since.


I call Mount Vernon, NY my home along with my wife Maria, and two children: 4-1/2 (and going on 18) year old daughter Sofia and 3 year old son Santino.  My passions are cooking, entertaining and hosting loved ones, a round of golf with good buddies, giving my kids Italian names, and I guess now blogging!  My sports affiliations could use a little work as I have grown to depend on high blood pressure medication while watching my beloved Philadelphia Eagles.  Often enough though, I am able to ditch the meds when the Yankees are continuing world domination.  Then there's always the New York Rangers somewhere in the middle, and for them?  Tums usually does the trick.  As for movies, I still can't find a movie better than The Godfather (hence my son's name), though most Will Farrell flicks have been close.  I am a listener to literally all types of music (and I do mean all!), and my dirty little secret is that I am a karaoke junkie.  But above everything in this world, my biggest passion???  Is just simply being dad.


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3 comment(s) so far...

Re: It is my absolute pleasure to meet you!

Good one Zani....

By Amir on   12/12/2011 5:46 PM

Re: It is my absolute pleasure to meet you!

Bravo on hitting the books again - I was late in finishing my schooling and felt the need to buckle down and complete the task. You won’t be sorry.


By John Wilkerson on   12/12/2011 5:46 PM

Re: It is my absolute pleasure to meet you!

Thanks John. Yes, this has been a long time coming for me to get back into this saddle. I have not regretted a single moment!

By Mike Zani on   12/12/2011 5:49 PM

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