The Wanderlust of Edward Reybitz
Ed Reybitz, a partner in 215 Marketing, left his native Brazil at age 5. He hasn’t stopped moving since.
September 22, 2014
“Maybe I should grab my résumé,” Edward Reybitz says. “Let’s just say I’ve been around.”
Reybitz isn’t kidding. He’s worked for established corporations and fledgling startups. He’s lived in big cities and small towns. The U.S. Brazil. Prague. India. Reybitz has seen and done a lot. And at just 31, he’s become a go-to figure around the Baiada Institute’s co-working space for his experience — in business and in life.
Born in Brazil to an American father and Brazilian mother, Reybitz spent his formative years there while his father worked for the World Bank. The family eventually moved to Allentown, Pa., where the culture better matched his parents’ values.
“Back then, there was no middle class in Brazil,” he says. “My dad didn’t feel like he wanted to be a part of the upper echelon of society. He’s more of a blue collar type of guy.”
Reybitz’s Brazilian roots may help explain his laid-back demeanor. If Jon Vogel and Garrett Gillin — Reybitz’s partners in 215 Marketing — are dueling tornadoes, as he describes them, then he’s the calm eye of the storm.
“When people see Garrett and Jon running around, they kind of look at me to get feedback as to what’s going on,” he says. “They know Jon and Garrett’s perspective, but they also want a different perspective.”
Reybitz originally sought a career in the food business, potentially as a route back to living and working in Brazil. He graduated from Penn State’s agricultural business program. He went on to St. Joseph’s University, where he got his master’s degree in international marketing. That degree led to studies around the world, leading Reybitz to change gears.
Back in the U.S. after finishing graduate school in 2006, Reybitz began working for IBM in Washington, D.C.
“So I went from agro-business to international marketing to doing supply chain and IT consulting. So that was an experience,” he says. Reybitz picked up skills in project management, software development and the ins and outs of supply chains.
“I touched on that a bit in my master’s and undergrad, but I never really practiced in the area,” he says.
The culture of Washington and IBM was a departure from Reybitz’s relaxed personality. But as ever, he learned to adapt.
“I started dressing like a Washingtonian,” he says. “I was a navy sport coat and kakis IBM guy. So I had that going for me.”
A project in Philadelphia eventually took Reybitz closer to his Pennsylvania roots when the economic downturn hit. Finding himself in a new city and without a job, Reybitz wanted to make another move.
“Instead of finding a similar job, I decided I wanted to get into finance.”
He began studying for the CFA [Chartered Financial Analyst] exam, even though he’d never taken more than basic finance classes. He also traveled home to Brazil and got his Portuguese back up to par. He thought about taking a job with IBM again when an opportunity in Sao Paolo came up, but instead he returned to Philly to work for Vanguard, handling retirement accounts.
After a year and a half there, he got restless again.
“Anywhere I’ve been, I’ve always been working on the side doing something,” Reybitz says. In the case of his time at Vanguard, it was a startup called Date My School.
“I had the normal eight to five, and then outside of that I would help hire brand ambassadors around the country to promote Date My School at different campuses,” he says. When a full-time gig at Date My School came up, Reybitz was again on the move — this time to New York City, where the website was headquartered.
All Roads Lead to Philadelphia
After a few months of crashing on friends’ couches, Reybitz reconnected with Garrett Gillin, whom he’d met a few years earlier through mutual friends. Gillin was doing consulting work back in Philly and needed a partner — a role the pair agreed that Reybitz could fill. He’s been with 215 Marketing since, arriving in March of 2013.
His time at 215 is in many ways a culmination of his long and winding career path. Reybitz leans on his varied business experience and know-how as he’s helped get the company off the ground.
“I’m adaptable,” he says. “It’s always been my goal to have a very broad view of business and how things interrelate. I’m a jack of all trades, which comes in handy, so when something goes wrong I can pick up the pieces.”
While he’s settled into his latest position, that hasn’t stopped Reybitz from moving once again — though this one is minor by his standards, has he departs his home in Fairmount for Manayunk. And although he’s determined to help make 215 Marketing a success, kicking back on a beach in Brazil is never far from his mind.
Ed Reybitz On...
His soccer allegiances and the World Cup: “Oh, I root for Brazil. I mean, it’s like the Yankees of soccer. I knew right away they weren’t going to win. Going into it, I knew I was going to get ridiculed. It’s in Brazil, there’s a lot of pressure. They’re going to mess it up.”
Working on a college campus: “The thing is, I can talk to the high school kid as easily as I can talk to the dean. If I shave my beard, I do look like I am still in college, so I can pretend like I’m still in school.”
His hobbies: “I guess my main hobby is just walking around the city, seeing stuff. When I’d visit my friends in New York City before I lived there, I would literally walk from Battery Park to Central Park and back. I would just walk.”
His favorite movies: Inglourious Basterds, City of God, The Big Lebowski
His favorite TV shows: Monty Python, Mad Men, Parks and Recreation, House of Cards, Veep, Vice, Last Week Tonight
His favorite music: “Everything, except for, like, country,” he says. “Vampire Weekend has been kind of a constant. I listen to a lot of Brazilian music to keep me connected and it helps with speaking Portuguese. But last night I was listening to ‘Blackout’ by Redman and Method Man, or I’ll pull out Buddy Holly and the Crickets. It’s all over the place.”