What’s On My Desk: Don Epstein, CEO of Greater Talent Network

Desk of Don Epstein

Don Epstein is the founder and CEO of Greater Talent Network, Inc. – the world’s premier celebrity speakers bureau. Don splits his time between New York and Palm Beach. Since GTN’s start in 1982, Don has shown a knack for recognizing talent on the cusp of their careers, putting GTN consistently ahead of the curve in providing the market with the most outstanding speakers and most inspiring storytellers in the world.

With more than three decades in the business, Don has cultivated an exclusive client base that includes: Former National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon, decorated Navy Seal and subject of Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell, best-selling author of Moneyball and The Blindside Michael Lewis, legendary political satirist P.J. O’Rourke, Oakland A’s General Manager and subject of Moneyball Billy Beane, best-selling author of The Monuments Men Robert Edsel, and Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, among a roster of over 150 in-demand clients. Epstein’s ability to deliver a unique mixture of the most prominent newsmakers, authors, entertainers and motivating personalities continues to captivate America’s top corporations, business associates and universities.

1. My vintage leather desk :  The desk is the cornerstone of your workspace. I love this desk because it gives me a sense of confidence.


2. A photo of me with late UN Ambassador, client and close friend Richard Holbrooke at a GTN party in Southampton (2010) : Before Holbrooke passed away, we were very good friends. I keep his picture nearby as inspiration and a stark reminder of how much this country desperately needs him now.


3. A ceremonial horsewhip from Kazakhstan : This was presented to me as a gift by the President of Kazakhstan’s daughter while attending a conference in 2009. I’ll never forget what an honor it was to be presented with a traditional gift from the country’s highest office, truly a once in a lifetime occasion. I’m sure anyone would agree, if the president of a country gives you something—especially something rare—you keep it close by.


4. A (small) portion of my sports memorabilia collection: Three signed basketballs from sports legends Shaquille O’Neil, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Julius “Dr. J” Erving; Two Giants Super Bowl hats; and a NFL football signed by Michael Oher and the entire Tuohy family (of The Blindside) : Everyone who knows me knows that I am a huge sports fan. But aside from that, I really enjoy sharing in the success of my clients. Nothing means more to me than seeing them go out there, do what they do, and win.


5. Helmet from the New York State Honorary Fire Chiefs Organization : I was presented this helmet when I was inducted as President of the organization, a true honor. I like to keep it close by because it’s a quick visual reminder of who the true heroes really are—firemen, policemen and military personnel.


6. A photo of my twin sons, Jacob and Morgan, and my wife Cara taken over 20 years ago : Every leader in any organization needs a picture of his family on his desk. It keeps him grounded. I may be CEO here, but at home, with my family, I’m husband and dad, and the last thing any organizational leader wants to do is lose sight of that—the most important roles in my life.


7. A novelty desk plate “The Bucks Start Here” –D.R.E. : This desk plate was given to me by one of my first clients over 25 years ago, who would always say that the buck doesn’t stop here, it starts here. It’s a great motto for our business. It reminds me that my company’s success starts right here with me, in this office, at this desk. But that’s true not just for me, but for everyone at GTN; our success starts with the small, everyday things we do right here at our desks. Yes it’s whimsical, but also extremely valid.