Ernie Canadeo – From Marketing Maven to Music Man

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What do you do for an encore after you’ve spent almost 40 years growing your company, the EGC Group, into Long Island’s largest and most prestigious marketing agency, and are now ready for your next challenge? You — that’s Ernie Canadeo — become chairman of the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame, and the driving force in creating Long Island’s first and most exciting hall of fame. 

Born and raised in Westbury, Canadeo has always stayed true to his Long Island roots and now turns his focus to celebrating the area’s stellar homegrown talent. 

“I believe there is no place in the world that has created as much musical and entertainment talent than Long Island,” Canadeo says. 

The EGC Group – Long Island’s Signature Marketing Agency 

After a distinguished career in advertising and promotion at RCA Records, in 1985 Canadeo created the EGC Group, which has become Long Island’s signature agency for companies and brands looking to grow. 

Its client list includes local, regional and national brands such as Canon, Brother International, Emerging Vision, Catholic Health, Jovia Financial Credit Union, WindowRama, Sight MD,  KISS Products, and Vaughn College.  A full-service agency, EGC specializes in strategic and creative development, digital and linear media buying and reporting, social and digital media, website development, and public relations. 

“We rebranded two of the most prominent organizations on Long Island: The Long Island Association, which is also known as the LIA, and Discover Long Island, which was formerly called the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau,” Canadeo says.

Headquartered in its wholly owned building in Melville, with a satellite office in Brooklyn, EGC continues to take a leadership role in building its clients’ businesses for the future, as Canadeo becomes chairman and hands the day-to-day reins to Nicole Penn, an employee of 25 years and now partner, president, and CEO of EGC. 

“Ernie has been an incredible mentor and supporter,” Penn says. “He’s brought the agency incredibly far and has always led with purpose and passion. I plan to continue that journey while also expanding our reach and visibility. We have an incredible team and our storytelling and media management is unparalleled, so I’m focused on telling that story to more people, for more brands — all over the world. “

Penn and a talented management team, which recently added Ernie’s son Christopher, are taking the agency to the next level as it leads and organizes TribeOpen 2023, a global marketing conference in New York City in October. The sky is the limit as EGC continues to grow under its new leadership, acquiring new technology and talent to give its clients a competitive edge. To learn more, visit egcgroup.com .  

As EGC Chairman, Canadeo will maintain a strong presence in the community, remain a trustee of several boards, and attend corporate events.

“I’ve become EGC’s ambassador,” he quips.  

Supporting Long Island’s Not-for-Profit Sector

A longtime supporter of Long Island’s not-for-profit sector, Canadeo has served on dozens of major boards, including the LIA, United Way of L.I., and EAC Network. For more than a decade, EGC has been the only New York area firm participating in the CreateAthon program, donating more than $3 million worth of time and media exposure for not-for-profit organizations through 24-hour work marathons.  

He leads the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame as its chairman and opened the doors to its new 8,800-square-foot building in Stony Brook Village last November. 

This was a natural transition for Canadeo, a music lover, musician, and songwriter, where he plans to utilize his marketing talents and business acumen to take the organization to a level it had long imagined but had not yet realized.

The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame 

Founded in 2004 by musicians and educators, the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF) held its first Induction Ceremony Gala in 2006. Since its founding, it has held seven induction ceremonies, inducting more than 120 musicians and music industry professionals from every music genre. See limehof.org for more information. 

The LIMEHOF building in Stony Brook Village was created and designed by Kevin O’Callaghan, a world-renowned exhibition designer and LIMEHOF board member, and opened last fall to accolades from the press and attendees.  

“We were an organization that held incredible induction ceremonies every other year and we gave out scholarships, raised money, but never had a home,” says Canadeo, who helped secure the space for their headquarters. 

The two-story building boasts an exciting 2,500-square-foot exhibition hall, surround sound theater, and formal Hall of Fame room with memorabilia and plaques for each of the inductees, complete with biographies and playlists. The exhibition hall holds live concerts by Long Island musicians who play original music each Sunday at 3 p.m., which are free with admission.  

Catholic Health, LIMEHOF’s presenting sponsor, has partnered with LIMEHOF to create Health and Harmony, a first-of-its-kind program to celebrate and explore the dynamic relationship between music and your health. You can find out more at healthandharmonyli.org .  

LIMEHOF’s first exhibit, Long Island’s Legendary Club Scene, has drawn rave reviews and continues to attract hundreds of visitors each week. Be sure to visit before Oct. 16, when it will close in preparation for a major new exhibit, to be announced soon. Tickets are available on the website or at the door; LIMEHOF reopens Thanksgiving weekend with the new exhibit.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for companies who would like to partner with the organization, as part of LIMEHOF’s education and scholarship programs or other events.

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Ernie Canadeo — A Renaissance Man

Embarking upon this next stage of his career, Canadeo is looking forward to dedicating himself to the Hall of Fame organization. 

“I’ve created a succession plan and now I’m following  a passion of mine, which is music,” says Canadeo, who still plays guitar and has, over the years, written about two dozen folk rock songs. 

As he transitions from marketing maven to music man, Canadeo plans to help make LIMEHOF become one of the most respected hall of fames in the country, while also continuing to advise and consult with Penn and the EGC management team. 

It seems that Canadeo has created a juggling act for himself. Some would even call him a Renaissance man — and he’d have it no other way. 

“With a wonderful wife, terrific kids, a thriving ad agency, and the excitement of running a music hall of fame, I’m having the time of my life,” he says.