20 Questions with Edward Valaitis

Edward Valaitis, managing partner with Edison Avenue, started his mergers and acquisition firm, 12 years ago, after having helped to build a top-five INC. Magazine company, serving as a strategy advisor to Fortune 500 companies and being a partner in a large regional CPA firm. 

He is the author of the Amazon best-seller “Exit Like A Winner- The proven success formula for selling your business.”  He has served on boards at the University of Tampa, CEO Council of Tampa Bay and others. He is certified by the National Associate of Corporate Directors. 

1. College alma mater? Cleveland State University.

2. Last show you binge-watched? The Chosen.

3. Favorite place for a business meeting? Ocean Prime, at International Plaza.

4. iPhone or Android? I am on my 7th generation of Google Pixel phone. I love the Google integration.

5. What time do you wake up on workdays?  6:25 a.m.

6. What part of your morning routine can you not miss? A freshly made espresso coffee followed by a rigorous workout, almost always involving my favorite thing, multiple sets of pull-ups.

7. What movie terrified you as a child? The Exorcist. 

8. Proudest moment? The legacy aspects of becoming a grandfather and publishing a meaningful book.

9. Dream dinner companion? A living person would be Elon Musk. A deceased person would be Thomas More.

10. Biggest business failure? Attempting to pursue deep organizational change, in a shifting external marketplace, without taking enough time to create understanding and buy-in from my 120-person team.

11. Best concert you’ve ever seen, live? The compassion of watching Bono, from U2, brace up a wobbly drunk man who had stormed the stage. Bono chose to finish out the song with him instead of having security boot him out of the venue on his ear.

12. What is your cellphone wallpaper image?  Snow-covered mountains from my last visit to Glacier National Park, in Montana.

13. Most famous person you’ve ever met? Michael Douglas, in New York City.

14. What is your go-to drink order? Hickory smoked Old Fashion with Eagle Rare bourbon.

15. How do you manage the volume of emails you receive? Constantly unsubscribing and occasional cram sessions where I address a very large batch of emails in one sitting.

16. Last thing you ordered from Amazon?  Blue solar lights for my boat dock. 

17. Emojis in the workplace, yay or nay? Nay, easily open to misinterpretation.

18. Charities you support? Child’s Gate to Learning, Metropolitan Ministries, STAR and other children focused charities.

19. Favorite childhood memory? Deer hunting with my dad while perched high in an apple tree in a forest sparkling with sunshine and red and yellow fall leaves. 

20. Best advice ever received? My brilliant mathematician grandmother, Ursula, who lost everything and barely survived WWII, sat me down as a teenager and shared the following. “The only thing you truly own in life is what is between your ears, your mind.” Everything else can be taken away from you in an instance. Invest in yourself by continuously learning and develop strong critical thinking skills. If what you are being told does not make sense, do not believe it.

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