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Top Execs Who Started at the Bottom

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Dan Adler

Occupation: Vice President at Walt Disney Imagineering
Mailroom: Creative Artists Agency

The “bootstrap” mentality was always in Adler’s blood. Adler’s father—orphaned as a teenager and liberated from Auschwitz—served in the U.S. Army before joining the mailroom of a Cleveland-based manufacturing company.

Adler sought a similar beginning for himself 25 years ago, when he ventured out across the country to begin his journey into the realm of new media. The day after arriving in Los Angeles, Adler got a job in the mailroom of the Creative Artists Agency. He rose quickly through the executive ranks and became vice president at the world’s largest media conglomerate, The Walt Disney Co.

Photo Background: John M. Heller | Getty Images