The 800-CEO-READ Family
Located in Milwaukee's historic Walker's Point, 800-CEO-READ has been in the business of business books since 1984. We are experts on business books—whether it's knowledge of the history and current trends in business literature, helping authors navigate book sales and the speaking circuit, how to customize books for a specific audience or client, or our intimate and hard-earned knowledge of how to physically move books around the country and around the world on a specific deadline, we offer a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you steer your book and your message in a constantly changing and sometimes chaotic industry.
Rebecca Schwartz is 800-CEO-READ’s co-owner, President & CEO and has been in the book business all her life: for the first 30 years working on and off at the Milwaukee bookshop begun by her grandfather, Harry W. Schwartz, and for over two decades sharing wonderful literature with high schoolers in English class. She knows that finding the right book at the right time, whether as a CEO or a student, is key to finding direction and inspiration. If she had her way, Toni Morrison and Mark Twain would share space on every businessperson’s shelf along with Jim Collins and Seth Godin.
Sally Haldorson's job as 800-CEO-READ’s General Manager is to make 800-CEO-READ a great place to work for our employees, and a consistently high-performing customer service organization for our clients, authors, and our partners in the publishing industry. In addition to her General Manager duties ensuring collaboration, integration, and quality, she reads, writes, reviews, curates, and edits for the company. Helping craft The 100 Best Business Books of All Time used parts of both skill sets. Outside of work, she is most likely to be found hitting a tennis ball around or hanging out with her boys (husband, child, dog) at home.
Aaron Schleicher has been the author services specialist at 800-CEO-READ since 2004. You can usually find him hidden under a baseball cap, feet kicked up on his desk, talking with authors, publishers, and businesses. Call him to find out how 800-CEO-READ can help you get your book into the hands of readers around the globe. Outside the office you can find him crafting candles, listening to records, and making music with friends and family. You can contact Aaron at aaron (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Meg Bacik was first hired in the accounting department back when 800-CEO-READ was still known as Schwartz Business Books. Quickly realizing she had more interest in helping people than adding up numbers, she moved over to customer service and has sat next to her Roy-friend ever since, shipping books around the world and acting as 800-CEO-READ’s enthusiast-in-chief. She would like to mention that she had the best time, out of all the kids in her 7th grade class, in the mile run, beating Laura H., to everyone’s surprise. Since accomplishing this goal, she has retired from racing. Now, when she’s not flying the friendly skies, she can be found riding her bike around Milwaukee in search of the perfect margarita. Contact Meg at meg (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Roy Normington has just embarked upon his 20th year at 800-CEO-READ and decided to commemorate the event with a new diary entry. “Dear Diary: This is really something!! You wouldn't believe it, but I actually started out working the register and helping customers with books…in person. Who does that anymore? Eventually I moved behind the scenes (which Jack says is the best place to keep me—wonder what he means by that, Diary?) working with large accounts, video training resources, invoicing, and sales. Basically my job is to take orders, big or small, and make customers happy, and guess what? It's still the best place to work! That’s all for now, Dear Diary, because I’ve got to get back to work.” You can contact Roy at work at roy (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Michael Jantz went to work under the auspices of 800-CEO-READ, an institution about which he knew little, in mid-2012. Michael now oversees “special projects,” a task that corrals any number of imaginable alterations and re-imaginings of the umpteen books 800-CEO-READ so gracefully sells day after day. But never content with the appellations of the common workplace, Michael also now enjoys exploring other avenues of 800-CEO-READ’s enterprise, including reading, writing, design, and lively conversations with those writers whose books the company sells. It is a happy time for Michael, whose love of books and good company has found 800-CEO-READ's office and philosophy to be like nutrient-rich compost to his hungry, burrowing roots. You can catch some of that happiness by writing Michael at michael (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Ryan Schleicher is now in his third tenure at 800-CEO-READ, having left the nest previously for adventures in New Orleans and at Milwaukee's Frontier Radio Station, WMSE. Developed the old-fashioned way, Ryan began at 800-CEO-READ in shipping/receiving, but the bosses kept offering new opportunities in customer service, sales, and marketing (he's most famous for his stint at our former book giveaway site, inBubbleWrap), so it was a no-brainer to bring him back in a multifaceted capacity, with a focus on acting as liaison to corporate learning clients and directing our PR, as well as working with Aaron and Michael in Author Services. You can contact him, once again, at ryan (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Andrew Koenig is the newest addition to the sales team at 800-CEO-READ, but has helped out with shipping/receiving and special projects since 2011. Like many before him, he has followed the pipeline from warehouse to the office. His job is dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, making sure everyone has what they need to best do their duties. This also involves making sure his customers have whatever they need to be happy. When not at his desk, Andrew is playing in an ever shifting number of bands in the Milwaukee area. From rock groups, to old time string bands, to a Vaudevillian carnival, he likes to keep variety both in and out of the office. You can find him at andrew (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Zach Karpinski is our Director of Technology who oversees all aspects of technology for the company. He also is in charge of all of our servers and does all of the web development for our web sites. Books like Rework and Getting Real by 37 Signals and The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda influence his work. Zach lives with his wife Kristin and their three children in Shorewood. You can contact Zach at zach (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Val Ulicki is the second half of the IT Team at 800-CEO-READ, dipping his toe into programming while assuming the desktop support role and generally doing most things "techy". When not herding electrons you can find Val spending time with his family (wife, son, and daughter), reading, brewing beer, and cooking. Val loves bacon. You can contact Val at val(at)800ceoread(dot)com.
Shawn Quinn is the first person in our office every day, turning on the lights and rousing the accounting machine to life, at some god-awful early hour of the morning. He was one of our earliest employees too, starting out in customer service when the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops were anchored downtown at the historic Iron Block building. For the past 10 years, he has been our numbers guy, serving on the frontline of the company’s growth, while still believing the core goal of the business is putting a book in the customer’s hands. When he isn’t reading or rewatching MadMen episodes, Shawn can be found in the kitchen making a mean pot of chili. Shawn and his wife Nancy are the parents of a 12-year-old daughter who (big surprise) loves to read, and a dog with very bad luck. You can reach Shawn at shawn (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Mel Koenig came to work at 800-CEO-READ in 1999 to help keep track of the money pile and put her excellent event planning skills to work coordinating author appearances. Her name, Melanie, is derived from the Greek μελανία (melania), "blackness" and that from μέλας (melas), meaning "dark," which may explain why she prefers to tell people she was born on a dark and stormy night in the red barn at the end of the artists’ pier in Rockport MA. Migrating to Milwaukee via Schenectady and Akron, she lives in Shorewood, WI, and ‘rules’ a house full of misfits, which includes husband, children, a good number of their friends, and innumerable of pets. You can contact Mel at mel (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Todd Lazarski has been the Shipper/Receiver at 800-CEO-READ since 2007. If you've purchased a book with us since then, he has personally packaged your order with care, and sent it your way. When he's not counting boxes, printing labels, moving pallets or making the UPS guy sweat, he is pursuing a freelance writing career (read him unfiltered at toddlazarski.com), honing his Ping Pong skills, searching for the best bite of food Milwaukee has to offer, or giving himself blisters with his ol' guitar. You can contact Todd at toddl (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Mike Schauwitzer joined us in 2014 to shore up our ever-expanding special projects and customizations operation, and to provide support to our shipping/receiving and logistics. Although many people here will tell you he looks like he's sixteen, he is actually a fifty-nine-year-old family man with 24 children. And like Satchel Page pitching for the Kansas City Athletics at age 59 in 1965, Mike proves you can still contribute in the big leagues at an advanced age, so long as you have a little gumption and a lot of liniment. You can contact Mike at mike (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Blyth Meier joined us to lead our marketing department in 2015 after doing that work for the Milwaukee Film Festival for the previous five years. While she made good use her filmmaking degree at that job, here she returns to her first love—books. As an undergraduate English major at the University of North Dakota, Blyth’s favorite time of year was the annual Writers Conference, which brought many of her soon-to-be favorite authors to the remote Northern Prairie: Peter Matthiessen, August Wilson, Toi Derricotte, Mark Doty, Natasha Trethewey, and Terry Tempest Williams. Blyth lives in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee, where she gardens, cooks, takes photographs, and participates in a yearly 24-hour bike race. At 800-CEO-READ, she runs our social media accounts, writes for In the Books, and is the keeper of all our marketing spreadsheets. Contact her at blyth (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of business books, and our in-house design, as well as writing and editing reviews, doing photography and illustration. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side. You can reach him at dylan (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Jack Covert will tell you he is a simple merchant at heart; his old employees will tell you he is the heart of 800-CEO-READ. Hired by the late David Schwartz thirty years ago to sell business and computer books to the Milwaukee business community via the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops, Jack grew that 3-shelf business section into the specialty business book retailer 800-CEO-READ is today. As Founder and former President, now retired, Jack still offers his guidance and hard-won business acumen to the overall workings of the company. When he’s not consulting with us, volunteering in the community, or puttering around his garden, Jack can usually be found at home watching British mystery series with his wife Ann and their two cats. Contact Jack at jack (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Carol Grossmeyer now lives in Seattle, but as 800-CEO-READ's co-owner and board chair, she is committed to ensuring the best book buying experience for customers and the best work experience for employees. Thanks to Skype, she never misses a beat. While virtual communication keeps her connected to the business and the people she loves, in real life, Carol loves sharing a good meal, a bottle of red, and some lively discussion about independent film and the newest fiction.