There’s no straight line to success. It’s often the result of a bit of serendipity, focus and hard work.
Esdra Lamy, who serves as vice president for station sales for Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, originally came to Missouri Southern to play soccer.
“I needed to do a video interview for a summer camp coaching job, and I stumbled into Robin Douglas’ office. She asked me some questions on camera,” he said. “I checked out the TV station and I realized that’s what I wanted to do. I was hooked … I changed my major right away.”
“I had a strong passion for on-the-air stuff, but also the creative aspect,” he said. “The beautiful thing about working at KGCS is that I got involved in both ends of it.”
He was featured on programs such as “Southern Sports Sunday,” and was part of the push to get the station into the then-new Leggett & Platt Athletic Center to broadcast games. “We offered live sporting events locally produced by us, and the timing was impeccable,” he said. “The men’s basketball team had one of its best years ever.” Douglas, coordinator of Testing Services who taught Lamy’s television production class, remembers that Lamy would come to class smartly dressed when his classmates would typically wear jeans and T-shirts.
“To this day, I recall when I commented on why he was so dressed up, he said, ‘You have to dress for the job you want.’ I remember that clearly, and I had a deeper respect for him as he grew into the man he always knew he could be.”
After graduating from Missouri Southern in 2000, Lamy moved to Kansas City to enter the Target training program, but quickly realized he wasn’t where he wanted to be. After an interview process, he was hired as an account executive for Petry Media and moved to New York City. A position opened up with Petry’s television sales division several months later in Los Angeles and he made the move.
“When you come from an environment where you have to be proactive – like at Missouri Southern – it helped prepare me,” he said. “It happened because I raised my hand.”
Proactive was the name of the game when he “cold called” his way into an account executive position after seeing an ad in the trades.
“I started from the ground up (at Warner Bros.),” Lamy said. “Typically for those jobs you have to know somebody. I kept working my way up to more responsibilities and getting more experience in different territories.”
Fast forward a dozen years and Lamy has helped launch several first-run shows and shepherds the broadcast of programs such as “TMZ,” “Extra,” “People’s Court” and “Judge Mathes.” His division also handles the sales of sitcoms and off-network shows such as “Two and a Half Men,” “Person of Interest” and “Smallville.”
“Esdra is not only a success story in regards to what MSSU can offer, he is a success story in regards to what relationships between students and instructors can be if students are willing to listen, learn and grow,” said Douglas.
“I’ve worked with the best and most caring people, with big hearts and who love what they do,” he said.