Proskauer Rose; Polo Ralph Lauren
When you first hear about Ed and his cold-water diving excursions to sunken ships or skiing trips in the mountainous back-country, you imagine a thrill-seeking, adrenaline junkie. Oddly enough, this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, as he describes these seemingly dangerous activities, you begin to see just how this same person can also operate as an incredibly successful Corporate Securities lawyer for one of the world's largest companies.
"Part of the charm is that you can screw up and get hurt or even kill yourself. The thrill is in exercising competency – exercising the right stuff to do it and do it safely... The important thing is to stay calm and if a situation arises just take a deep breath and deal with it." For Ed, it's not about the adrenaline, or the brush with danger, it's the mastery of the mind and body – subduing the natural, emotional response to a situation in favor of the controlled, intelligent solution.
Ed was born and raised in Staten Island. He spent his undergraduate years at Columbia University and after receiving his degree, moved on to Harvard Law School. He describes his decision-making process calmly and as a matter of fact, "I didn't want to be a doctor and I didn't want to be a starving grad student, yet I wanted to be challenged intellectually somehow and law school seemed like a good idea." After graduating from Harvard Law, Ed started working at a large law firm, where he developed skills that would carry him throughout his career.
After a number of years at a firm, Ed moved in-house to Polo Ralph Lauren and eventually to Axiom. "I went to Axiom for a couple of reasons, one, the flexibility they’d offered in types of work and range of companies. And two, because I was impressed by the people...they’re very bright and care a great deal about the people and the execution."
Ed currently works as an Lawyer engaged at American Express working on corporate government matters. Regardless of where he finds himself, the goal is always the same, to search out intellectual satisfaction. "You get satisfaction from thinking about complex issues. Not just applying technical knowledge, but applying judgment and understanding people in a situation. You have to be a bit of a psychologist to do it. You have to be politically in tune as well to an organisation and where the people are coming from and how they see a situation. You have to see how your client sees things and be able to get to the right solution."
Whether it's leading a team of lawyers on the company's latest M&A deal, or diving 280 feet below the surface of the ocean to find a sunken bulk carrier along the bed of the St. Lawrence River, Ed finds joy through calmly solving problems and keeping his wits about him as he takes care of business.
Clearly, this doesn't seem like the end of the road for Ed. There is still much to try, to solve, and to enjoy. "I’d like to go up to Canada and dive on a ship wreck that’s up there. I would like to get back to the Pacific sometime, go to Indonesia or the Philippines. But actually, what I really love is diving around here. I love the ship wrecks." It's not merely about being underwater. He explains, "I can just take sort of a mini-vacation and turn away from everything else. It’s a great mental and physical refresher. It’s nice to get away for a weekend... get up early, leave the land behind literally and leave everything behind figuratively."
"It’s a little bit more interesting than just going to whatever movie happens to be playing."