Meet Vincent LeVien, Advance Man of the East End

Vincent LeVien
Vincent LeVien

Vincent LeVien is a networker extraordinaire, government affairs expert and a fixture in New York’s “who’s who” crowd. LeVien often commiserates with the decision-makers who make New York tick. Throughout his career, he has become associated with many of the state and nation’s most influential government leaders, and served some of them, too.

LeVien has been skilled in logistics and advance work since the early days of his career. For those who may not know what exactly advance work is, it is the arrangement of optics, details and strategy before each and every public appearance made by a high-profile individual. For example, the logistics and advance team are on the ground before the president arrives and oftentimes leave before he gets there, to ensure a seamless arrival, departure and everything in between.

Throughout a magnificent career, LeVien has advanced four presidents and the pope. He first worked in this capacity in Florida, when he served as the director of operations and surrogate advance for Al Gore and John Kerry’s presidential campaign in the early 2000s. He was the conduit by which information was exchanged, coordinating who goes where for the presidential and vice presidential campaigns throughout the critical swing state.

“Working with presidential candidates is a very stressful time,” LeVien says. “But you learn to make the impossible possible. You learn to problem solve and get things done within days and hours that would take months to plan.”

After this, he worked in various government capacities. Holding positions in the state, city and federal government, he would develop a command of how things worked, and more importantly, how things got done. He would advise some of New York’s most high-profile leaders such as State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, and whole bodies of government, like the New York City Council and the State Senate.

While his role has evolved, he has still harnessed his experiences and strengths in logistics. Serving as the director of external affairs for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, LeVien was tasked with coordinating the 2015 pontifical visit to New York.

LeVien was the Holy See’s point person, who played a critical role in the planning and execution of Pope Francis’ visit. LeVien worked with various law enforcement, intelligence and federal government entities and the United Nations to ensure the pope’s safety, the security of his delegation and the planning of his day-to-day while in the United States.

“It was truly a trip of a lifetime,” LeVien recalls. “I have been honored to meet Pope Francis four times at the Vatican. I’ve been truly blessed. Being able to work with the pope and his staff and continue to work with them the past eight years has been an experience of a lifetime.”

Concurrent with his professional duties at the Diocese of Brooklyn, LeVien started his own professional endeavor in 2011. Through I Got a Guy, Inc., or IGG, by which his company is commonly known, LeVien has used his experience to consult with some of the most notable entertainers, businesses and brand names during their public events.

Some of the most recognizable groups that LeVien has contracted with include The Chainsmokers at Sony Records, Kygo, CAA, Highpost Capital, Cigna Magic Studios, American Airlines, Marriott International and Remy Martin, to name a few.

Since its start, IGG has evolved into a full-service consulting service, now handling everything from government affairs and crisis management to event-focused logistics. He has worked across the nation, including here on the East End and throughout the five boroughs.

“When I started IGG, I never thought I could have built it up the way I have,” he says. “Everyone has low expectations, but what I have learned through hard work and continuing on your mission, you will achieve your success.

“Success isn’t always about greatness, it’s about consistency,” he continues. “Consistent hard work gains success. Greatness will come.”

For example, LeVien mentioned the 2021 and 2023 Palm Tree Festival that took place the past few years at Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach, as a major achievement of IGG.

“It’s the first of its kind,” he says. “It started in 2021 with Kygo and Jimmy Buffett. Thanks to the help of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, we have been honored to donate to charities like the Murphy Navy Seal Foundation, Raguso and Briggs Foundations, and the 106th U.S. Air Force National Guard, supporting families of heroes.”

LeVien has also managed to become a prolific philanthropist for many causes near to his heart. The son of a Brooklyn police officer, LeVien is a trustee of the Silver Shield Foundation and sits on the advisory board of the New York State Troopers PBA Widow and Children’s Fund.

He also holds board positions on the Pave the Way Foundation, Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School, the Cathedral Club of Brooklyn and the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation.

There has never been a cause too small for LeVien to lend assistance. During the peak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, when New York’s hospitals were under siege, he recruited partners and provided thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment to hospitals, healthcare facilities and law enforcement across the tri-state area.

One of the areas where this group had the most impact was, in fact, here in the Hamptons, where he provided medical supplies to Southampton Hospital, as well as law enforcement and first responders on the South Fork.

“Since a young age my dad and mom taught me the importance of giving back,” he says. “My dad was an organized crime NYPD detective who went after the Mafia. So I learned at a young age the importance of right and wrong.

“I had the honor to run an emergency task force to provide PPE to all first responders,” he continues. “I started in New York City to help all the hospitals and first responders and then continued to help the hospitals and first responders out east.”

LeVien and his family spend time on the East End during the warmer months, most frequently in Montauk, where he and his loved ones enjoy a yearly trip. LeVien is married to a native Long Islander, Bridget LeVien, and they have two children, Sophia, 11, and Vinny Jr., 9.

“I have been traveling to Montauk for as long as I can remember with my family,” he says. “Great memories have been made there and that tradition continues to live on. My dad would take me fishing every year, and I now take my son and daughter.

“Montauk — The End,” LeVien concludes.

Todd Shapiro is an award-winning publicist and associate publisher of Dan’s Papers.

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