SL Spotlight: Jeff Philbin

SL Spotlight illuminates the talents and personal stories of our one-of-a-kind team members who day in and day out enable us to neurotically care for our clients. This month’s Spotlight shines on Jeff Philbin.

Your role?
I’m honored to have been recently named a Partner at Schifino Lee and look forward to preserving its 30-year legacy this year while driving future growth for many more years to come. My goal is to bring a fresh perspective and innovative ideas, leverage technology to expand our reach, and bring new and exciting opportunities to our clients. I’m excited to be a part of an agency that honors its storied past but at the same time embraces change and growth.

What are you working on this month?
I’m having a lot of fun being a part of many different client projects, from public relations work with the Cross-Bay Ferry, to full-agency support services for Hyde Park Capital and MaintenX,  to a full advertising campaign for Florida Advanced Spine and Orthopedics. It’s a busy – but fun – time!

Things about marketing that intrigue you the most?
It’s a puzzle, with no set rules to follow, and no answers in the back of the book. Sure, process creates consistency and a pathway, and data informs strategy, but every challenge is a new puzzle needing logic and reasoning applicable to a particular set of requirements. We need to be the champions of the brand for our clients to bring the right solutions to the table to solve their puzzle.

Favorite book or speaker on marketing?
This may be a little cliché, but what always gets me pumped when I need that internal pep talk is The Art of War, by Sun Tzu. For me, it provides the inspiration and necessary principles for sound strategy, deliberate tactics, and ultimate success in the world of business. Since we here at Schifino Lee are creative problem solvers who sometimes address needs that go beyond marketing, to me this book provides appropriate applications for everyday business.

What you like to do outside of work?
Many may know this, but food is a creative outlet for me, and how I got started in marketing, when I was client-side as the marketing director for two large sister restaurant concepts. These days, cooking is more of a hobby than anything right now. But I was on Fox’s MasterChef and selected as the fifth-best home cook in America, beating out 34,000, so I love parlaying that accomplishment to host friends and family over engaging conversations and a delicious meal!

Favorite movie?
Tough one, because I love movies and segment them into categories, but the 2022 Jeffy award (trademark pending!) winner would have to go to It’s a Wonderful Life. For me, it epitomizes the belief that we all have the opportunity to make an impact on so many lives, and we don’t even realize it. It’s important to live life fully and to truly embrace the beauty of living. As the character Clarence, the angel, said in the movie: “Remember no man is a failure who has friends.”

Any three dinner guests?
Obviously, my incredible wife and son, Beth and Holden. She is the real deal, and he holds himself so well for a six-year-old and has been my plus-one for many professional events. Together, they’re a battery pack at the dinner table, which allows me two more guests. 😁 These would be Matthew McConaughey and Keanu Reeves, who I think define a new style of cool and philosophy, and who I would love to have a dinner conversation with.

With my wife, Beth, showing our support for our hometown hockey team.


My son, Holden, chilling at the beach.

Most rewarding professional accomplishment so far?
When I moved to Tampa in 2012, I was named an Up & Comer in 2013 by the Tampa Bay Business Journal for its 30 Under 30 feature. More broadly, since moving to Tampa, I’ve been able to fall in love with my wife, witness my amazing son grow, buy our own home, and become a part of the larger professional and philanthropic community.

At a game in Buffalo, where my wife is cheering on the team of her hometown growing up.

Best moment at Schifino Lee?
The best moment at SL is waking up every morning knowing each day is different. By the end of it, I know I will have contributed to moving the ball forward for our clients, strengthening our team culture and aptitude, and growing our business, which ultimately makes me feel full but hungry to get right back at it the next day!

One of our engagement photos, with the University of Tampa in the background.
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