We assembled one of the most elite lists of business people in North America … and when they wouldn’t return our calls we hired these people instead.
Zoro T. Fox was born smack in the middle of a 7-day cruise (the one that goes to Cancun not the good one that goes to St. Thomas…). Within three days, Zoro had memorized the all-you-can-eat buffet schedule and amassed a collection of 78 jumbo plastic Mai Tai glasses. Mom and Dad were proud.
Following disembarkment, Zoro settled into a happy childhood in the Chicago ’burbs. Days were spent playing with friends in the swamp behind the abandoned gas station. Nights were spent hiding from coyotes, wolves, politicians, and other predatory swamp animals. Weekends were a special time saved for piano lessons and raiding the dumpster of Zoro’s favorite BBQ joint for riblet scraps.
Zoro’s mom (Marilyn Banderas-Schwarzenegger Fox) picked Zoro’s name straight out of the Spanish dictionary. Yep, “zorro” literally means “fox” in Spanish. The second “r” was dropped from Zoro’s name because his mom could only get her diaper bag monogrammed with 4 letters. Easy decision for mom—it really was a pretty awesome diaper bag.
As a teen, Zoro was diagnosed with severecartoonis caricaturitis which is a rare disease that causes a non-reversible change to an exaggerated cartoon-like form. Zoro’s giant fuzzy fingers killed his dream of becoming a pianist, and left Zoro with only two potential avenues to make a living—Bartender or Team Mascot for a young and hungry industrial supply company. Serving 384 oz. Miller Lites to desperate denizens in search of a sweet local watering hole in suburbia proved to be a short-lived career stop. Zoro’s fuzzy-fingered cartoon hands just couldn’t turn the spigot on the sunset blush wine box fast enough. That, and having to wear a full-body hair net was just plain embarrassing. Zoro’s lack of applicable skills and body hair issues made the decision to leave the Mid-Priced American Casual-Dining restaurant world an easy one. The glamorous life of a Team Mascot became Zoro’s destiny. Cool.
Most of Zoro’s days are spent staring at the Zoros’s interns while they work(editor’s note: this is totally true). But on occasion Zoro will throw out a first pitch at a baseball game, race a motorcycle, steal Seth’s car for a joy ride, initiate a Nerf gun war, or give a kid a high-five at the zoo.
Three things you can count on in Zoro T. Fox’s world: the riblets are warm, the music is rockin’, and there are happy customers everywhere you look. It’s just a little slice of heaven on earth!
Kate brings a varied and colorful range of experience to Zoro. She has a master’s degree in economics from the Warsaw School of Economics (yes, in Poland); she can play the violin, piano, and flute (no, not at the same time); and she can accurately pronounce bibimbap when she orders it at her favorite Korean restaurant. All that said, the thing that clinched her hiring at Zoro is the time she spent as a veterinary technician. Someone needs to care for Zoro T. Fox when he stubs his little paw or catches fox flu.
Kate enjoys antiquing, hiking, travel, animals, and sports. As a matter of fact, she says the most memorable moment of her life is when Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League Final in 2005. Yah, hold on, we are Googling it now too. Her big goal is to travel the U.S. in a camper, which sounds pretty good, but is gonna get pretty crazy with her family and three pets along for the ride. But we say go for it.
Kate hopes some day to share a mojito with Bill Murray.
Jennifer Payne is from Janesville, Wisconsin and contends that Wisconsin is the real state that looks like a mitten (take that, Michiganders). When she’s not at work, she likes to point out scientific inaccuracies of Jurassic Park and Land of the Lost. Dinosaurs are her passion, and she has a herd of them on her desk that she is working to mentally control to do her bidding.
In a past life—not literally, but figuratively—Jennifer worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant and is CPR and Fire Safety Certified. In no particular order, she loves her laundry, family, and snowboarding. She is working to improve her posture, which has been warped by walking like a velociraptor around the office.
Ask Jennifer about dinos or solenoids. She’l have an answer for you, and a smile on her face.
What do working as a flight attendant, a squire, and majoring in vocal performance all have in common? They all help develop you to be the best dang customer service supervisor this side of the Alleghenies (really any side of the Alleghenies). Courtney’s wide work experience prepared him for his role, and Nature itself gifted him with the dulcet tones required to soothe the concerns of all who speak to him. It’s the kind of voice that, when you here him say “There, there” all your muscles relax and an incredible calm manifests from the depths of your very soul and all is right with the world. Of course, he never says “There, there” to customers, because that would be weird.
As a counterpoint to this side of him, Courtney also keeps a batarang at his desk, which is the definition of hardcore.
When Courtney isn’t at work he spends time with his wife and daughter, not sleeping, and experimenting with special effects makeup. He’s self-taught, and since he’s sleep deprived most of the time lately, it’s gotten a lot more…risky to get out the sculpting tools.
You think you’re good at karaoke? Go out with Courtney and see what you think after that.
Elizabeth is from Belvidere, IL, a town that was retroactively renamed for TV’s favorite goofy high school principal in the 90s. (True story.) She works as a case responder in our Customer Service department and has fielded cases from “what happened to my order?” to “if I solder the robot I’m building in my garage during a lightning storm, will it somehow gain sentience and take over the world?”
You can tell when Elizabeth is responding to your case from the shimmy-shimmy-cocoa-puff, shimmy-shimmy-pow rhythm of the words. That’s because in her off hours Elizabeth is a Zumba instructor, and that dancing energy taps its way out through her fingers when she’s here at Zoro. Aside from Zumba, Elizabeth likes to relax at home (as well as other people’s homes when she’s invited) and spend time with family. Someday soon she’ll go skydiving, and it will be appropriately epic.
We asked Elizabeth if we could use the word “chillax” in her bio, and she said no. It was the right call.
Lisa grew up in Nebraska, as well as the good ol’ Land of Lincoln. She works in our customer service department and loves to help her teammates grow professionally. As a trainer, that passion fits her position perfectly. Other CSAs even call her “peppy,” a far more preferable adjective than “salty” when describing personality traits. She also has a degree in graphic design and loves history, so she knows how to keep the whole picture in mind as she goes about her work with customers and colleagues.
Outside of work, Lisa loves to sleep whenever she can. She has a daughter in the toddler years, two ornery dogs, and a husband that keep her busy, so any amount of shut-eye she can get is appreciated. Lisa married her college sweetheart—we guess the real chemical reaction was between the two of them. (Sorry. It was right there...we had to say it.) Oh, and she has her black belt in Tae Kwon Do, so don’t mess with her.
Lisa has a Taco Bell addiction.
Isabel grew up in Skokie, a real baller suburb of Chicago. From there she went to Southern Illinois University and studied advertising. Her senior thesis “Would Someone Please Explain to Me What a Saluki Is” was a breakout success and formed the foundation of the type of funny content you see across the web. She works as a CSA, and is always trying to make our customers and her co-workers laugh. “Whistling while you work is stupid. Laughing is way better,” she says.
Outside of work, Isabel likes to dance, play golf, and play board games like Monopoly. She has created a dancing version of Monopoly called “Macrarenopoly” and is working to secure the rights to publish it. Isabel also has Austin-Powers Syndrome, and has difficulty controlling the volume of her voice. She loves to travel and has a particularly audacious goal of visiting every country in the world. First on her list: travel to Italy, and throw a coin in a wishing fountain. That will give her the luck she needs to visit everywhere else!
Isabel is a founding member of Zoro’s Leonardo Dicaprio Fan Club.
Kristy Koenen is a key member of our case response team in Janesville. Every day, she answers a series of customer queries with aplomb, and her goal is to provide the best customer service possible to any customer she works with. She came to Zoro with a lot of customer service experience from the restaurant and retail industries, as well as a tad bit of nursing training. She quickly learned that nursing wasn’t for her, but health care’s loss is our gain! As an added bonus, Kristy is a softball phenom, and learning that has put “form business softball team” at the top of some to-do lists.
Outside of work, Kristy also likes to play tennis. (Rule of thumb: Kristy’s pretty good playing any game with a racket or a bat.) She likes to watch a perfectly healthy amount of television, spoil her nieces and nephews, and bake. She’s also a great shot, and would be good to have around during a zombie apocalypse.
Kristy’s softball nickname is ICEBOX.
Just like the Von Erich family of pro wrestling fame, Russell Williams hails from Niagara Falls, NY. He works as a CSA in our Buffalo Grove office and came to Zoro with tons of customer service experience. A huge fan of pro wrestling, Russell imagines each and every call is a ladder match, and any problem a customer has requires him to climb that ladder and go for an epic body slam (in this analogy, epic body slam = satisfying resolution to the customer inquiry).
In addition to a bevy of wrestling knowledge and work experience, Russell provides our customer service group with laughs, on account of his sense of humor. “I’m pretty funny, I guess,” Russell says. Outside of work, he loves to watch movies like Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz & Halloween, read books written by Christopher Rice, cook, and play video games.
Fact: The Legend of Zelda is one of the best video games ever.
Toni grew up in Wisconsin and, having worked as a Customer Service Manager at Piggly Wiggly, she is used to working for a company with a somewhat silly animal mascot. She works on our case response team and does her darnedest to ensure that customers with inquiries get answers to their questions.
Outside of work, Toni has two children, two dogs, a fiance, and several siblings to keep herself busy. She loves to travel and to host events for her friends and family. One day she’ll have some property in the country, and that will be just for her.
Toni also loves to scrapbook, so if you have any paper stock suggestions, she’s all ears.
A southern Wisconsin native, Zach has spent most of his life preparing for the eventual moment when he joined Zoro and fulfilled his destiny. The years in high school and college, the brief stint in Minnesota, everything led up to becoming a CSA at Zoro. His entire life has been a training simulation to prepare him for this role. And now he is living the dream.
When he is not realizing his destiny at Zoro, Zach spends his time following state and local politics. One day you’ll find him on your ballot (if you live in his area). As part of his political and personal education, he plans to visit every state in the Union. Ostensibly, this tour will be for “fun.” In actuality, he will be researching future locations for his congressional/gubernatorial/presidential campaign stump speeches.
Don’t tell the other states, but Zach wants to visit Alaska most of all.
In addition to being a leader in our Customer Service department, Carley leads Zoro in boisterous nonsense. What do expect from someone who plays violin and softball? You should see her do both at the same time, it’s pretty hysterical. Born and raised in Zoro border town Arlington Heights, IL, Carley enjoys kick boxing, reading, swimming, and taking photographs of her adorable niece and her yorkie Pnut, whom we assume is also adorable.
She is a former Student Ambassador to Australia but flatly denies having anything to do with the notorious international incident: “The Nutella Caper.” Carley received her BA in Journalism and is a certified paralegal (i.e., she is a giant stickler for grammar). She’s also a self-professed workaholic with an appetite for jumping out of planes. So you can just imagine that she’ll probably be proofing spreadsheets on the way down.
Seriously though, if you call our Customer Service department, you will definitely be well taken care of. If you get Carley on the phone, just don’t badmouth the Chicago Blackhawks. Things will get ugly fast.
Ask Carley about pizza. Seriously, she mentioned it twice on her company bio information form.
Colorado native Shannon boasts both an ability to sing and the capacity to laugh at herself. Depending on how well she sings, the latter could definitely come in handy. During her free time, she likes to get pedicures, which we guess don’t come out as she would like because she describes herself as “a work in progress.” Shannon and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and she says the one thing in the world she is most passionate about is her family. So lucky them. As further proof of her dedication to her family, Shannon donated a kidney to her sister. That is pretty incredible considering that most people wouldn’t let their sister borrow their curling iron.
Shannon says she would like to visit Ireland and try skydiving one day. How cool would it be to kill two birds with one stone and jump out of a plane flying over the Emerald Isle?! She also has stated a preference for the Outlander series of books, so we really want to caution her when she is in Ireland that there can be only one and not let anyone chop her head off.
Shannon has been working in customer service for 20 years now, so seriously, if you call us, ask for Shannon.
Leanne has lived in Evanston, Antioch, and Zion, IL, all her life. We find this highly suspicious because on a map, these three locations triangulate around Zoro HQ. But we can’t say anything at this time because of the ongoing investigation. So nothing to see here, move along. In the meantime, Leanne will be dutifully helping you out with your questions and inquiries into our awesome products and helping you with your orders.
The other thing we find suspicious is that Leanne says Accounting was her favorite subject in school. Ok, NOW we know something fishy is going on. But her three sons, two of whom are married, seem to be nice guys, so maybe we will let it go this time. THIS time. Leanne says she would like to travel to the Galapagos Islands one day and we are figuring that is where her secret hide out is. Where she does all that accounting … for fun!
Actually, on second thought, Leanne says her favorite movie is “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and her favorite actor is Harrison Ford, so we think she is awesome.
Melody’s previous work experience includes a stint as a preschool teacher, which will serve her well here at Zoro. We are quite zany at times. She also says she is bringing to work “a positive attitude and a contagious smile.” Hopefully that is all that is contagious, because we do NOT want another episode around here like the “Great Sneezing Debacle” of 2013. The other talent she counts among her great skills is “losing socks like it’s my job.” We’ll find a place within the organization for that unique ability, don’t worry.
Melody practices yoga and plays the guitar. We are really hoping that at the next annual company talent show, she strums Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along The Watchtower” while in the Downward-Facing Dog position. She says she wants to work at a company that feels like family. Well, good news, Melody, you’ve come to the right place. And we have plenty of socks.
Melody’s favorite food is tacos and her favorite drink is chocolate milk and we are all really hoping that she does not consume both of those at the same time … at least not at our table in the cafeteria.
Nicole hails from Sparta. So you know she is like a fierce, armored warrior, totally carrying a sword, shield, and everything. It is really cool! She is like completely fierce and will defend the citadel until her last … wait, what? Sparta, Wisconsin? Oh. Never mind.
Nicole hails from Sparta, WI, seat of Monroe County, nestled in the beautiful rolling hills of western Wisconsin. So that is nice too. She enjoys watching movies in her spare time. (May we be so bold as to suggest maybe “300,” “Troy,” and “Prince of Persia” might be good films to watch, though?) She comes to Zoro with more than six years of customer service experience that will bring her much success here. She will not rest until your issues are fully resolved. She will fight bravely for YOUR GLORY! SHE WILL CONQUER ALL! SPARRRRTAAAA! Sorry, got carried away again.
Nicole says she is bringing a happy and fun attitude with her to Zoro. So you’ll probably notice that if you get her on the phone.
Brina is a Frisbee Golf aficionado (which is the official term designated for players of Frisbee Golf). She says she plans to “bring an edge to Zoro and spunk to make everyone’s day a little better.” We think that flinging a Frisbee around the office just above everyone’s head will certainly do the trick. Just watch out for the challenging dogleg turn past the men’s bathroom in the hallway leading to the warehouse. It’s killer. Par 4 for sure.
Brina was a dancer in her younger years and enjoys drawing, painting, and sculpting. Holy cow! She is a quadruple threat! Apparently she is a singer too, but only in the shower and she admits the words she makes up to songs are sometimes not even words. So maybe not so much with the singing, Brina.
Brina is looking forward to bringing smiles to your faces just like she did when she was a camp counselor one summer and helped the shy girl.
Ryan says one of his personal goals is to not be so sarcastic all the time, which probably is a good idea for a guy who handles calls from customers. “Oh right! Like the commercial grade GFCI receptacles you received are not the right color. Let me get right on that for you! Maybe I should escalate this to a manager?! Huh?! Is that what you want?!” That of course would never happen because Ryan also says he is a great people person. So let’s go with that.
He has a pretty large shoe collection of more than 20 pairs which he switches out throughout the day depending on his activity. He has his Customer Service shoes (sensible loafers), his Disc Golf shoes (tough athletic sneakers with Ty Cobb-style sharp cleats for putting the boot to his opponents), and his Ping Pong shoes (bright pink tap dance wingtips to throw off his opponents’ concentration). Ryan is hard-core. He recently jumped into the ocean for the first time while on vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama, but did not specify what kind of shoes he was wearing at the time.
Ryan indicated his favorite beverage is “Dr. Pepper/Chocolate Milk” and we’re all trying to figure out if he only drinks it on a dare or if it’s really a thing.
Selene is ready for the zombie apocalypse. We know this because she told everyone but didn’t indicate how she was ready. Because the last thing you want to do is give away your secrets. It’s probably from all the “Walking Dead” she has watched, but it could be something else. We just don’t know. But for sure we are heading over to her desk if we hear groans of “Braaainnns” coming from reception.
When not hunting cannibal corpses, Selene likes puzzles, scrapbooking, and shopping … certainly some more mundane interests. At the age of 5 she was the unofficial interpreter of her school. A child prodigy with languages, she was often pulled out of class to interpret conversations between teachers and parents. Some of the more esoteric languages she mastered include Tagbanua, Scandoromani, Marathi, and Zimakani (look ’em up).
Selene says she wants to sky dive before she dies, which just so happens to be an excellent way to become a zombie.
A native of Wausau, WI, Casey is into DIY, HGTV, MBA, etc. She just loves those acronyms! (Yes, we know those are all initialisms and not acronyms. Don’t be all calling Customer Service about that. Although if you do, you might get Casey and you can ask her about other acron … initialisms she is interested in.) She also loves her bull-mastiff/retriever mix, Jasmine, and visiting her mom on the beach in Florida. Although she admits finding a dog crate that she can take on the plane that is big enough for a bull-mastiff is difficult.
Casey is into her book club and “hosting events for friends.” Now we haven’t really asked her what the nature of these “events” is, so we are going with “Feats of Strength and Dexterity Events,” such as “the floor is lava,” “water balloon toss,” and “spoon-egg races.” While she isn’t being the arbiter of fine and fancy games, she likes to sit back and take in a reality TV show with wine and cupcakes.
Casey is really only here until she wins the lottery, so if you have a customer service question, call now!
Born in the bustling metropolis of Fairwater, Wisconsin, population 300, Margaret now lives in Janesville, Wisconsin, population, 63,000. So, she’s moving up in the world for sure. She is a wiz at arts, crafts, DIY, and other creative pursuits. Margaret says she likes to have fun with new hires. So watch out all you new hires, Margaret is gonna put oatmeal in your shoes, steal the W’s off your keyboards, and crazy glue your desk drawers shut.
Margaret lists her family members as Scotchy, Gemma, and Pat, one of which is her husband and the other two are cats, but we are not sure which is which. She loves to shop, read, and watch TV, and is full of positive energy and enthusiasm. She has a dream of one day owning her own consignment shop in which she will sell only Green Bay Packers gear. Margaret is passionate about helping people, which was a big selling point during her interview for a job in our Customer Service department. A real no-brainer for us.
Margaret dreams of one day visiting Charleston, South Carolina, which is really not that far away, but whatever.
Chynna once jumped off a 35-ft. cliff at Rick’s Café in Jamaica, so you can be assured that she will have no problem diving headfirst into any issue if you call Customer Support about a Zoro.com order. During the call, she might scream, “Ahhhgghghgh!!!” but don’t get alarmed, she’s just flashing back to Jamaica. Incidentally, Chynna would like you to know that 35 feet looks much higher than 35 feet when you’re looking straight down into the crystal blue of the deep, deep ocean. When she isn’t cliff diving, she loves to find a good show on Netflix and cuddle up with her crazy mutt, Clementine.
Chynna sports a handful of tattoos that honor some of popular culture’s most influential icons such as The Beatles, The Wizard of Oz, and her grandpa. He might not be as famous as the others, but he was pretty awesome. Her favorite thing in the entire world is the aforementioned Clementine. Not a day goes by when she doesn’t bring a smile to her face. We’re not sure if Chynna means she brings a smile to Clementine’s face or her dog makes her smile, so we will just leave that sentence ambiguous. Works either way, probably.
Chynna plans her day around a good glass of wine. Don’t we all.
Kent’s job here at Zoro is to improve the processes our Customer Service group follows when helping you. It takes logic, straight thinking, and clear-headedness. So you might question why we hired someone for this job who is a huge warm-weather freak but has lived in Wisconsin his whole life. What you don’t know, however, is that Kent is a pilot, he is a certified personal trainer, and he has four rescue pets (three cats and a dog). So, we just couldn’t pass up a renaissance man like that.
Like a good life-long Wisconsinite, Kent’s favorite food is buffalo wings, which we assume he enjoys most with a beer outside when it is warm (the weather, not the beer). He also likes 80’s big-hair bands and his favorite teams are the Packers, Brewers, and Bucks. So, yah, dyed-in-the-wool Cheesehead for sure. Kent’s goal is to retire to the Florida Keys and travel to Hawaii and Fiji. That will more than make up for a life spent up here in the frozen tundra. Not so sure how strong the TV reception is in Fiji for local Wisconsin channels so he can still watch the Bucks play, but that is a process he can work on improving later.
We’ve already had a couple of complaints from the Customer Service department about Kent turning up the thermostat to 94 degrees.
After spending seven years in the United States Air Force, Eric is ready to be your wingman. He’s a guy’s guy with simple tastes—well-done steak, reliable pocket knives, flannel shirts, and strong, black coffee. Even the name of his hometown, Manlius, New York, is the epitome of masculinity.
When he’s not enjoying the outdoors — kayaking and biking — Eric teaches his three grandkids the fine art of whittling. His future goal is to bike the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage. And then turn around and bike it again. And then bike to Hawaii. I’m glad he’s on our (and your) side.
Distant relative Levi Pease’s earned the nickname “father of the turnpike” while driving his Wells Fargo stagecoach. Tough act to follow.
Powered solely by a team of Dachshunds and an ever increasing addiction to coffee, Chase drives the Zoro team forward. With sayings like “Those boxes aren’t going to ship themselves” and “why is my coffee cold?”, he continues to be a motivating force in the office. Despite his injuries from ’Nam, short for Name that Tune–it´s a good story, ask him some time. Chase has had the intestinal fortitude to figure out the magical mysteries of the interweb, and by “figure out”, I mean totally figured out.
Having played long snapper for the Chicago Bears for about 23.7 years prior to joining Zoro, under the lengthy tutelage of long snapping coaching legend George Halas, he has a unique appreciation for the details involved with “spinning the ball”. In a strange twist the Dos Equis man is actually based on Chase’s life.
Chase’s favorite tool, the speed wrench, is a frequent topic in the professional MRO and DIY community. Zoro markets them as hammers, but Chase refuses to call them that. Chase describes how to use them in his latest blog entry entitled “Fixing stuff you need fixing”, an excerpt “First step get yourself a big heavy speed wrench to fix all your problems. Applications: driving screws, light bulb removal, delicate plumbing fittings, keys locked in car, squirrel problems.”
He also enjoys searching on The Google and haircuts.
Don’t let him fool you, Jason is a master manipulator—of information. Under the guise of unassuming suburban father with safe interests like “craft beer” and “yard work” this man harbors a dark secret. In truth, Jason is a SEM assassin. His past professions as an engineer, options trader, and software QA analyst prepared him for this dangerous role. Armed with Google Analytics and operating under the cover of inscrutable charts and endless Excel spreadsheets, you will hear Jason whispering mantras to himself, focusing his chi: “Unga bunga.” “Long tail.” “Be the ball.”
These words mean little to his co-workers, who are confounded by his work. But they all benefit. For he protects them from the inevitable onslaught of competition and keeps inefficient campaign spend at bay. His family is also adorable.
Jason wishes people around the office would learn the difference between all the TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) that he uses everyday, but would settle for them knowing just one of them. Unfortunately, that's still unlikely.
Julia grew up in the wilds of Rockford, and for the most part has stayed there on account of its awesomeness. Wine and the Great Outdoors are available in great abundance, and there is really no need to leave.
At Zoro (where she does not drink wine), Julia runs our affiliate programs. She wheels and deals and makes sure that Zoro’s showing up in all the right places across the web. When we asked her what historical moment impacted her life (it’s an invasive question we ask everyone), she said the fall of the Berlin Wall. Her dad was playing Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” while watching the news, which is insanely cool, and we all would like our lives to be soundtracked like that.
Outside of work, Julia likes to be with her husband and their two dogs. If you were to combine all of Julia’s favorite things into one fabulous event it would look like this: rev up a snowmobile. Pack it with wine. Ride the snowmobile out over a frozen lake where a speedboat has been marooned and stuck in the ice. Park the snowmobile a safe distance from the speedboat. Drill a hole in the ice. Fish. Crack open a nice German book. Drink wine. Repeat.
Fun Fact: Julia’s first word was “owls.”
Dan Creviston works as a CSE Manager here at Zoro. If there’s a marketplace outside of zoro.com where we can sell our wares, he wants us to be on it, and he wants to manage the everloving spoonful out of it. Of all the great things here at Zoro, what Dan likes best is the highly motivated culture. Outside of work, he runs a blog called “The Rockford Blog,” is a published contributor to “Secret Rockford,” and is completing his Masters degree in digital marketing and analytics. If we weren’t as motivated as we are, Dan would probably get bored and start another blog or join another graduate program or something.
When he has an hour of free-time, Dan prefers to meditate in the sun. You’re welcome to come along, just be sure to be quiet, and bring sunscreen. (Contemplation is easier in the silence.) He also enjoys spending time with his mythical chiweenie, with combined powers of cuteness, portability, and an odd body shape—much like a miniature griffon.
Dan has a huge family, and the 18 nieces and nephews to prove it.
Kelsey grew up in the cornfields of Merrill, MI, statistically speaking more likely surrounded by #2 Yellow Corn and not some extra sweet sweet corn. She stayed in Mittenland for college, attending Michigan State, and basically moved to the Chicago area and started working at Zoro at the same time. “This state isn’t shaped like any article of clothing at all,” she said. We’ve skewed her perception of just how awesome Chicagoland is. Because Chicago is great and all, but Zoro is even greater.
Kelsey works on our paid search team, identifying ways for people that are searching for our wares to find us. It’s a big world out there on the other side of your phone or computer screen. Kelsey's job is to try and make it a bit smaller.
When Kelsey has some free time, she particularly enjoys doing...nothing. (Nothing is the best.) That saying “something is better than nothing,” is just not true. But when she clears her busy nothin’-doin’ schedule, she likes to sew (she’s been doing that since she was 5). As a recent college grad, she’s still learning how to survive without a midday nap. If “nap time” ever pops up in our suggestion box, we’ll know the recommendation came from Kelsey.
Nothing. Still the best.
An avid video gamer and sitter-arounder-at-coffee-shops, Jason enjoys Mexican food, Batman, and breweries (not necessarily in that order). Fortunately, he married someone who shares his interests and has been able to continue his search for the perfect craft lager without interruption. His deep knowledge of eCommerce, channel marketing, and pie tins has brought him to Zoro where he is excited to fit in and share his knowledge of creating delightful Forest Friends Fondant Cupcakes.
Jason is a world-traveler-wannabe, with his sights set on Paris and Italy. He’ll probably change his tune when he realizes that French and Italian beers aren’t really a thing, though. In the meantime, this life-long Chicagoan can enjoy the multitude of coffee and suds shops around town.
Jason takes exception that “Batman” was mentioned in his bio instead of the “Dark Knight.”
Right off the bat, you need to know three things about Kyle: he rides a unicycle, he lists “dentistry” as a hobby, and he named his dog “Howard.” Ok, well, we are done here. How are we going to be able to make this bio any funnier than that? He is also a long-distance runner and a good listener. What’s funny about that? He wants to visit Alaska. Hysterical.
Guess we’ll just have to make stuff up. Kyle was born the third of three children to a family of elves who lived under the floorboards of an old shoemaker’s house. One day, the old shoemaker told his wife he was going to make his way to the village when a … Ok, well that isn’t working either. Suffice it to say, we are really glad Kyle has joined the Zoro family and look forward to him explaining to us just what searchandising is. Because we still think it is a word he just made up on his resume.
Kyle has lived proudly in ZIP Code 60657 for 10 years. We don’t have the heart to tell him it isn’t as chi-chi as 90210.
Like a detective in his favorite crime novels, Chris works to solve great mysteries —l ike how to make it easier to find products on Zoro.com. He knows stuff like tree testing, taxonomy, and long tail. (Rest easy, Zoro T. Fox, it doesn’t mean what you think).
Chris claims he’s “never met a stranger.” This is probably because he’s from Indiana, where everyone is super friendly. Chris and his wife are also hoping to adopt children soon. We wish him luck when it comes time to teach them how to spell “searchandising” with those little letter blocks.
Chris has an identical twin brother. We have yet to determine if he is an evil twin or just the regular kind.
Why did the car guy cross the road? To show off his super sick, tricked out Ford Taurus to everyone at Chili’s. Duh. Marcin comes to us from Mars, which is totally out of this world!
Sometimes Marcin spells his name Martin. One time he explained why sometimes it’s Marcin and other times it’s Martin, but we weren’t paying attention. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
If there’s one thing to take away from Marcin, it’s that he’s totally obsessed with Winged Hussars and wants to be one when he grows up.
Marcin’s favorite song is TiK ToK by Ke$ha.
Jenny grew up in the lovely suburbs of northern Illinois and stuck around until her mid-twenties, when she jettisoned the cruel winters for the dry heat of Arizona. Then, somehow forgetting what the weather here is really like, she decided to come back so she could experience the joys of shoveling snow, trudging through sludge, and vehicular salt damage.
Jenny is an AP Specialist here, which means she gets to spend the money—on bills, which we guess is OK. As a member of our accounting group, it’s absolutely essential to love two things: sports, and numbers. Luckily, Jenny is a fan of both. In sports, she prefers the Cubs; with numbers, she likes prime numbers. “Composite numbers are high maintenance,” says Jenny.
Jenny spends her free time watching sports, gardening, and trying out new drinks (she’s an amateur mixologist). She came in second place for during the wall squat contest at Zoro’s 2014 fitness competition, and is gunning for first next year.
When Jenny has free time from her free time, she naps on the couch with her dog.
If Zoro has a secret sauce, it’s made and distributed by Dana. Once the office manager, she is now part of the team that walks around with binoculars and butterfly nets to find the best and brightest stars in the ecommerce firmament and bring them down to Buffalo Grove. But she is really stealthy. You won’t even see her coming. And before you know it, boom, you are working for Zoro. Bwahahahaha!
Dana delivers a roundhouse kick of awesome to the organization. She moonlights as a princess. She has a black belt. She likes any restaurant with ’Texas’’ in its name. She even naps aggressively. But she is always smiling, and as dependable as the trains in Tokyo.
When she’s not kicking butt at work, she’s kicking it with her family and friends. Or kicking it with sparring partners at the dojo. Dana is always kicking something.
A Grand Ridge, IL, native, Lauren is our scout. She rides ahead with a three-day supply of food and water and looks over the great prairie for the best and brightest specimens. She gets very excited when she finds a wild Businessus analyticus, a red-crested IT associate, or the rarely encountered three-toed merchandiser to wrangle and bring back to Zoro. Lauren says she likes to spend time with her family and friends, and it’s not hard to figure out why. As a recruiter, she has only the best possible friends in her circle. Each one has passed a rigorous screening process and phone interview.
In her off time, Lauren likes to play with her dog (which also had to complete a questionnaire and write an essay about why he should be adopted over all the others at the kennel) and watch Law & Order. After each episode, she discusses economics, business law, and international politics with the pooch, because she has a fear of public speaking and needs to start somewhere. She hopes to travel to Buenos Aires, where public speaking won’t be a problem since she doesn’t know a lick of Spanish.
Lauren is the oldest of four kids in her family, none of whom she had the chance to interview first.
Ro Kumar grew up on the scorching deserts of the African Sahara, in a land so barren and isolated that the only trade that existed was to barter for scorpion carcasses. “One day I will trade camels” a young Ro dreamed. Sure enough, appearing through a mirage, a Bedouin came to him and said “Behold, this camel, it is yours. I will show you how to sell them, and also teach you how to use an abacus to count your sales.”
Thus began Ro’s training as a camel trader, quant jock and technologist. Business boomed in the early days till the Wall came down. Ro quickly learned the post-Cold War camel trade would be difficult—East Germany was the last great camel market, and after the Wall fell its market made a hard transition to alpacas and camel demand collapsed. “It’s a good thing I have this technology stuff to fall back on,” Ro thought to himself, “but I’ll always miss the camel game.”
Since leaving the camel business behind, Ro has walked the meadows of Vermont, held some part time gigs playing the hang drum, and now holds the big picture of Zoro’s technology and analytics needs in his mind. “Dude, Zoro has legs,” says Ro. In his free time, he races scorpions.
When he isn’t riding a camel, he’s riding in a Tesla.
If we are lucky, once in a while, our paths cross with an individual that has an immediate and defining impact on the rest of our lives. This individual inspires us. They want us to strive to be more than who we are in that moment. Alas, Kevin is not that guy. Sure he’s a pretty good IT Operations Manager for Zoro and a heck of dancer, but he is no Tony Robbins.
Kevin spent four years in relative solitude in the Sonoran Desert. He used this time to commune with his animal totem, the majestic and wise emu. There, with his emu spirit guide (and the help of some other spirits, wink-wink) he meditated on his future path, a path which led him to Zoro.
Someone once asked Kevin, “Kevin, how do you do it?” Kevin replied, “You see, it’s like a sandwich. You get your bread on both sides and then you got the stuff in between. That’s it.” Powerful words.
After years of ballet lessons and dreams of portraying swans and other various fairy tale creatures onstage, Lisa came to the realization that a love of food combined with a glacial metabolism (thanks a lot mom and dad!) don’t really mix with a career in ballet. Plus, tights and tutus really aren’t comfortable. So, she enjoyed lots of modern dance (you can wear sweats!) and writing a ton of essays about old British poems in college only to end up peddling chain hoists and WD‑40 many years later.
Lisa was thrilled to join Zoro where a sudden proclamation that Magneto or Boba Fett is misunderstood will be followed by an enthusiastic discussion rather than a blank stare. These discussions are necessary when a small group of people are desperately waiting for their pivot table to just WORK!
Lisa is amazed that she spends a great part of her home life trying to understand why a two-year-old boy will eat a stick of butter one night, only to ask for quinoa and nutritional yeast the next night. She is beginning to understand why dump trucks, tractors, and school buses are amazing and must be pointed out whenever possible. She plans to ensure that the above mentioned child will NOT put Charles Xavier and Sponge Bob in the same league. Ever.
Hailing from Beijing, China, Ju Shang likes to box. Like really punching people, you know? And when you ask him about his future goals, he says he wants to be the King. So that tells you a little bit about Zoro’s business analysts. We don’t mess around over here. He remembers fondly a less violent but equally physically demanding experience of backpacking in the United States. And when not enjoying sports (like, say, boxing) and rock music, Ju Shang dreams of slam dunking a basket on the Zoro warehouse court.
Ju Shang says he is going to bring fun and energy to Zoro and it’s not like we are going to stop him. Because you know that’s what we’re all about over here. Fun, energy, boxing, warehouse slam dunks and business analysis. He’s gonna fit in well.
Ju Shang made a point of clarifying that his favorite sports team, the Beijing Ducks, should not be confused with the kind you eat, that’s Peking.
Jason comes to Zoro by way of Houston and says that he wants to help “grow the company.” We are hoping he means financially and not in the “everything is bigger in Texas” way. Huge forks in the cafeteria? A giant computer mouse that you can’t even move? A phone too big to lift? That wouldn’t be helpful. It’s not like Thor or The Hulk work in business analysis or customer service (although that would be totally wicked).
Jason is a board game fanatic and restaurant enthusiast. So when he discovered we have a Yahtzee Grill and Chez Boggle here in the suburbs of Chicago, he knew he had found his new home. It takes good nutrition and a keen sense of cunning to bring a “unique perspective blending a high-level strategic viewpoint, a granular analytical viewpoint, and a cross-industry consulting viewpoint.” And yes, that is really how he talks.
Jason is good at wrestling, soccer, track, cross country, basketball, baseball, tennis, swimming, and football. We’re not joking.
Michael was born to two Air Force lovebirds, and lived up to the legacy of pushing the boundaries by staying in the same city for eighteen years with a strict diet of books, video games and darkness. Early wizardly training went efficiently, especially once a five-pound laptop was acquired. Upon stumbling out of his study, he endeavored to get the pieces of paper that convince other people of ones’ skill at computer wizardry, only to find that such things came at great cost in both time and treasure. Nonetheless, he took to it and was rewarded with two such pieces of paper; and, by exchanging many “words”, a trip into the more western parts of the Midwest to live amongst cows and others with similar pieces of paper.
Despite many fine years of manipulating information both visual and linguistic, eventually the constant mooing got to him and he took up this current apprenticeship with a Chicago sorceress. Now he enjoys pulling data hither and yon so as to please the vulpine masters, and also birthday donuts.
Michael often disappears with no other explanation other than “Wizard Stuff, Fool”, only to return later with a haunted look in his eyes. Many theories have been put forward, but few answers have yet been found. Thankfully, the data moves around even in his absence. For now.
Do you need advice on how to properly and securely manage customer and product data, or properly and securely get a nice tan going on? Melissa’s the one to talk to. In a previous life Melissa was a tanning analyst, and now she’s our systems analyst. She grew up in the great state of Ohio and although she didn’t attend Ohio State University (sorry, the Ohio State University, yeesh) she still roots for them, because Ohio. Her dog, an actual living thing, is named after Brutus the Buckeye, a poisonous nut mascot.
Melissa loves working at Zoro because she can wear comfy clothes and work with awesome people. In that order. She’d like people more if they were dogs, which are her favorite animals. But dogs are awesome, so we get it. If more dogs learned how to code, we’d probably hire a few. You can never have enough coders, or dogs. Just imagine how awesome an coding office dog would be. Seriously. Imagine it, right now. This is Melissa’s dream come true.
You always know when Melissa is coming because of the sound of her electric scooter crashing into and caroming off of things. This is what happens when you combine electric propulsion with clumsiness and compulsive hair twirling.
What do you get when transplant an Angeleno into Chicago? If Andre is any indication, you get a well-rounded person who’s as comfortable taking photos as they are managing the Zoro ERP. (You don’t need to know what that last part means.) Andre works in our IT department making sure that the 1s and 0s involved in your transactions are running smoothly.
As helpful as all that information is though, It’s best to get to know Andre through rhyme. So here goes: Yo, he’s from Southern California, he’s knows both his bokeh and his JIRA, he can read ya your rights in video game fights! He’s agile, not fragile, he’s got mad skills, all business, no frills, His method is scientific, his output is prolific, so be authentic or he’ll get sick. Ya hear me?
SoCal > NorCal.
Ben has goals. The chief among them is to have his consciousness transferred into a virtual world where it can live forever without the need for food or water so he can keep programming code indefinitely, forever. He is in the back room working on that right now. His other goal, to stand on the plains of Marathon in Greece, is really not compatible with the first one, but we are going to let him work that one out for himself.
Ben says his favorite hobby is to annoy his cats. But the joke is actually on him. The cats know what is going on and they are just letting him THINK he is annoying them when in fact, they are quietly plotting to overthrow him and all the rest of us humans. Soon. Soon. In the meantime, Ben likes to play basketball and play a few stringed instruments. He does both passably well.
Ben says he is passionate about “software architecture.” No seriously, he actually said that.
Anton is our resident IT (irritating things) fixer guy. He really, really, really likes to do that annoying computer stuff that nobody else likes to do, hooray! In addition to getting everyone wired into the web, Anton also enjoys Skittles and having a killer beard. When asked “What do you think about the company?” Anton said: “Zoro is like a game of Monopoly, the fun never ends.” We don’t know what game you’re playing, but we’ve never seen a game of Monopoly that ended in anything other than table flipping and yelling about who really owns Park Place or who landed on whose mega hotel.
In his free time, Anton likes to eat pizza and play video games. He really likes pizza, he wanted to make it clear to everyone that pizza is a passion. He also stated that he can eat 3 large burritos in one sitting, we’re not really sure if that is safe to do, but we will for sure be cheering him on at the company picnic. Finally, Anton would really like to go to Greenland to start a protest to have Greenland and Iceland swap names and he is 100% certain he can make it happen. You heard the man!
Anton likes to lie on his kitchen floor in the fetal position pretending he’s a bread crumb. There’s no joke here: he actually said that.
Don King, our man in marketing, hails from nowhere in particular. A self-confessed Air Force brat, he’s really just here until he wins the lottery, at which point he will retire to a small winery in Northern Italy with his wife. He does not plan on telling his three sons the address. (Although we are betting he will change his mind once he discovers that streaming his beloved alma mater Stanford Cardinal football games in Italy is so totally glitchy.)
His favorite subject in school was Urban Fiscal Planning. Once you stop rolling your eyes, we will continue. Ok, we’re back. Don also enjoys musing about his glory days on the varsity basketball and tennis teams. Sometimes he even mentions that it was in high school, depending on who he is talking to. He hopes one day he’ll make it to Wimbledon as a ball boy. That’s why he runs wind sprints up and down the hall by the cafeteria at 10:00 and 3:00 each day.
Don is a man of simple tastes. Give him a steak and a lemonade and he will be set. Of course, he also likes to hand the NBA Slam Dunk Trophy to the winners during the league All-Star breaks, but let’s not split hairs.
Yes, he shares his name with the noted boxing promoter of former heavyweight ear-biter Mike Tyson, but don’t mention it to him unless you want a chili dog up your schnozz.
Rocki, our Senior Director of Brand Development, spends her free time chasing after her two toddlers. Undoubtedly this is what clinched her the job here at Zoro because the staff of the Marketing department she helms is known to throw a tantrum or two from time to time. Yeah, her MBA from Harvard and more than a decade of experience leading some of the world’s biggest brands didn’t hurt either. And, you should see Zoro T. Fox! He’s so excited she joined the team. Right now, he is standing on a little platform in front of a mirror in her office like he is waiting to be fitted for a new suit.
Rocki enjoys the beach, attending sporting events, and going to music concerts. None of this new fangled, electro-pop, synthesized, EDM stuff though. Give her some good old-school hip hop or R&B every time. But don’t get it in your head that she is some ultra-hip coolster. Rocki freely admits she is a nerd whose favorite subjects in school were math and physics. Pizza is her favorite food, though, so that totally makes up for it.
Rocki’s goal is to complete an athletic challenge of some kind, but not a marathon. So we’re thinking that when she succeeds in opening a new jar of pickles at her house, the National Anthem plays and she takes a victory lap.
Look up in the sky… it’s a bird… it’s a plane… no wait, is that Emily? Nope.
While she may not have been born on a distant planet giving her super powers, she DEFINITELY designs like she’s from another planet—and has blue hair. Emily’s design preferences will at times bring into question whether in fact she is actually from Pluto (editor’s note: We are aware that Pluto got screwed and is no longer considered a planet. We also consider the Interplanetary Commission, or whatever they call themselves, to be a group of jealous cry babies who are just bitter that they will never have anything in space named after them. They are really, really super awesome at math and physics, and smart people stuff though).
From a young age Emily knew she’d be an artist. From an even younger age, Emily dreamed of being a superhero. This dream was squashed based on her complete lack of anything even remotely resembling a super power. A crippling fear of flying, laser beams, and running fast didn’t help either. So her second choice of being an artist seemed kinda doable in comparison. Emily made her folks proud when she left the nest (with her super-cape in hand) and headed off to art school.
As it turns out, Emily did end up finding some amazing superpowers in art school. Many a Super-villain has been foiled (and great design created) by Emily’s intergalactic design process. Somehow she makes finger painting (editor’s note: not kidding), dizzying rotations of bold fonts and mismatched typography, and super-human manipulations of photos and images come together into coherent design. BOOM! We have no idea how she does it. We’re not really sure she knows how she does it either…
When she’s not busy saving the world with her super design powers, Emily is gearing up for the pro snowboarding circuit or perfecting the art of juggling chainsaws.
Zach is artsy. He’s got a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, he spends his free time doodling in his sketchbook, he’s worked as an Art Director at a downtown agency, and he wears puffy pirate shirts and cat-eye horn-rimmed glasses. He also says that he likes to spend time at the dog park but didn’t mention if he has a dog. So it’s possible he’s one of “those” people. But we are willing to cut him some slack because he counts his attendance at the Chuck Jones Centennial as one of his most memorable events, and we think that is kinda awesome.
Zach admits the reason he interviewed at Zoro to begin with is his love for Zoro T. Fox. He looks forward to animating our favorite little guy in various situations, disguises, outfits, costumes, predicaments, and poses. So be on the lookout for Zoro concept art coming your way in a Z‐Mail or on a billboard soon. Zach says he wants to skydive before he dies and we think it would be amaaaaazing if he could doodle Zoro while plummeting to the earth. Right?!?!
Zach admitted on his staff biography questionnaire that his favorite animal is the lynx. Really, Zach? The lynx?
Liz eats well, does Crossfit, spends a lot of time outdoors with her fiancé and dog, and collects gluten-free/dairy-free recipes. So, yah, we all basically hate her guts. Seriously though, we love Liz. She is a wiz at promotional marketing and has been taking care of Zoro T. Fox since he was just a little kit in his mother’s paws. Plus, when we need somebody to represent the company at golf, softball, or figure skating events, she’s our ace in the hole. Not that there are that many competitive figure skating events in corporate America, but just in case, you know?
Liz dreams of visiting Italy some day, where her family comes from, and eating all the gluten-free pasta in the entire boot-shaped country. That actually might be difficult, though, and if she runs into any Italian pasta-purists, might get her run out of town. But it is definitely worth the risk. After Italy, Liz wants to go to Hawaii. Lots of healthy-living, outdoor activity options in Hawaii, like outrunning lava flows, so that should work out well.
Liz named her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lady. Real original!
JT was a military kid, so it would probably be easier to list the places he didn’t grow up: he hasn’t lived in Fishkill, NY, or Kanakanak, AK. But other than that, he has been everywhere. All that walking around is probably why he is an avid collector of sneakers. He has dozens and dozens of pairs of gym shoes, but he won’t divulge the actual number. Ironically, when it comes to really USING the sneakers, JT claims that he only “looks like” he can play ball. But when you are in Marketing Promotions, it is important to look good. So, he gets a pass.
JT is our go-to guy when things get tough. Why? Because he has a staunch record of keeping his cool. Like he says, he has a 50% success rate at not passing out in the delivery room during the birth of his children. Prior to coming to Zoro, JT worked for a Vegas casino chain. So if you start seeing promotions coming out of the marketing department that give you odds instead of just a certain percentage off your order, you’ll know who was behind it.
JT hopes to one day go on an African safari and we are confident he knows exactly which shoes he is going to wear.
What can we say about a guy who introduced himself to us in emojis? Seriously, this page doesn’t display emojis: what can we say?! Bryan is our marketing content manager, and he has a passion for making digital content not suck. He brings to the table a keen, understated wit and a wealth of completely useless trivia. As our resident grammar police he has tasked himself with conquering the misuses of “everyday” and “every day” in marketing across the world. This is an everyday problem every day.
When Bryan sheaths his trusty red pen (for real, he loves red pens) he likes to kick back and cheer on his beloved Manchester United. There isn’t much left to say here other than: Beets. Bears. Battlestar Galactica. Bryan.
Bryan stated that an important historical event that impacted his life was his own birth, glad you cleared that up for us!
Jes is what would happen if you threw a bunch of batteries and Skittles in a blender and then used witchcraft to make whatever goop resulted from that combination into a sentient being. We think she’s human, but there’s really no way to know for sure. Also she writes these bios. Isn’t breaking the 4th wall fun? Ka-pow! (That’s the sound of the 4th wall breaking.) If you Google her name you’ll see pictures and articles written about her (kinda/sorta famous) cat, Ghost. He’s the best.
Jes has rollered (rolled? roller derby’d?) on a roller derby team. We have no idea how to frame that in the past tense, but it’s very cool.
Nick is a stand up kind of guy. No, really. He likes to stand all the time. Even at work. When Nick isn’t busy standing at his fancy standing desk managing Zoro Brand things, he likes to make his own soap and deodorant. He usually smells like pepper, but he says it’s lavender. Nick wants a dog so badly that he almost dognapped one “once.” (Hide your pooches, folks.)
If you ever want to chat casually about GMOs or why gluten will be the downfall of all humanity, Nick is your guy. Nick is passionate about political matters, the environment, and bingo. Nick is an avid participant at “Friends” trivia. When the rain starts to pour: he’ll be there for you.
Nick once spent 5 hours running around New York City trying to find gluten-free pizza. This isn’t a joke — that really happened. He also tried to kidnap a dog there.
Manuel is Zoro’s resident jet setter. He’s traveled a lot—we know that much. Manuel’s full name actually means Manuel, tall mountain, of the tower. So it’s fitting that he’s kind of tall and likes to hike and stuff.
Aside from loving his family, (Manuela, Santiago, and Gaspar) Manuel loves fútbol. A lot. His favorite team is Club Atlético Rosario Central. Manuel’s favorite alcoholic beverage is some fancy, fruity wine thing that only exists in like 4 bars in the entire northern hemisphere. He fancy.
Manuel is absurdly good at any and all athletic activities … except badminton. He is shockingly not-great at badminton.
As a college dropout, and a steady D student in High School, Thomas found himself achieving a PhD in the “School of Life”, with honors. His diverse employment history has helped to gain the technical expertise to be able to support our vast product offering, and break them down into terms we all can all understand.
When he is not saving the world as an amateur firefighter, he finds himself working on some project or another, from restoring either his mother-in-law’s classic 1988 split level home, his 1973 boat, or some other “around the house project”. He often can be found sitting at his desk crooning the classic Sammy Davis Jr. song “The Candy Man”.
Thomas believes that there are only 3 essential items needed in every toolbox —duct tape, WD‑40, and a hammer. “If it moves and it shouldn’t, tape it. If it should move, and doesn’t, WD‑40 it. If that doesn’t work… hit it with the hammer.
Roy was traumatized at an early age from growing up in Chicago and its nearby suburbs having a cowboy’s name. He overcame this early childhood adversity by immersing himself in the world of kung fu and ninja movies. Legend has it when a bolt of lightning fell a tree in his yard, a young Roy made a set of nunchucks from the splintered branches. Roy scrawled onto one of the nunchuck handles, “MRO Products Boy”. This, among other things (many, many other things), was thought of as very odd at the time. But it was a boon of things to come.
Roy now spends his workdays plowing through Zoro’s product data, finding new products to add to Zoro’s product offerings, striving to improve Zoro’s online merchandising, and enjoying a friendly game of ping pong. Away from the office Roy can be found riding two-wheeled motorized unicycles, playing the six-stringed git-fiddle, and pondering why “monkey” doesn’t rhyme with “donkey”.
Roy’s philosophy on life can be summed up by a fortune received in a fortune cookie while on lunch break…“Nothing is more precious than time, for time is the price of eternity.” Deep.
Alina grew up in Israel—not Israel, Ohio, but the country of Israel. She learned many things there, but she did not learn to sing. What she did learn, however, was how to be a bit of a daredevil. She’s gone skydiving, which according to this author’s totally accurate web search and simple arithmetic has confirmed only 0.000142% of the global population are crazy enough to do each year. With an infant at home, her current madcap adventures include navigating rooms with toys strewn about and sleeping through the night.
Alina works as an online merchandise manager, where she brings all her Loyola-educated brains to bear on Excel spreadsheets. She hopes to one day learn Krav Maga so she can bring those skills to bear on Excel spreadsheets and, if you cross her, your face. She also likes to “attend unique events,” which is very ambiguous.
Don’t talk about your awesome mink coat in front of Alina. She will improvise what she thinks Krav Maga should be like and you will be sorry.
Laura is a Sr. Online Merchandising Manager. Sound like a mouthful? It is. But her list of responsibilities is as long as the title itself. She’s come into this crazy dynamic company and injected her own crazy dynamism, leveling the whole company up to crazy dynamism squared. A lifetime Chicagoarean, Laura has a wealth of experience in merchandising, content, organizational skills, and enthusiasm. We could always use more of all of that--especially enthusiasm. (Coffee can only go so far.)
Laura has a big family: two kids, two dogs, one cat, and one husband. (We don’t know whether this list is in order of preference or not.) She loves NASCAR, Napa, naps, NASA, Nat King Cole, and national parks. She hates spiders and math class. She’s also a huge reader, and is on a colonial history kick at the moment. That period of history has everything; political strife, societal upheaval, witch burning, weird fashion trends...everything. So we get it.
Laura enjoys reading by any body of water, except retention ponds.
Nadine comes from a long line of online merchandise managers. For centuries, her ancestors farmed the land in the day and ensured the pricing and product information on thousands of SKUs were correct at night. (Her family was way, way ahead of the times.) If there is a price that is not truly representative of an item’s true value, Nadine is here to correct it. It’s in her blood.
Nadine grew up in a small town, but not as small as a small town as the one she lives in now, which is extra-small. But small-town living helps her maintain her preferred outdoorsy lifestyle with her husband, daughter, and extended family. She lives what the bookish would consider an exciting life: snowboarding, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, and the like. However, none of these activities are as extreme or exciting as the “experimental cooking” she says she likes to do. (We didn’t press her on this. We simply let the comment pass. “Experimental” could mean anything, after all—the less we know the better.)
You always know when Nadine’s made a spreadsheet, on account of the bright colors. Your grey cells cannot contain her!
One day soon, Nadine is going to roll into the parking lot with a sick Corvette. It’s going to be awesome.
Raised in the Heights of Arlington, a Chicago suburb that raises from the Illinois Plains a whole 700 feet, Jim brings a much-needed eagle eye perspective to Zoro. He leads our Customer Operations group, which is tasked with minor things like “pleasing our customers with spectacular service” and “making sure we have all the products a customer could want and a price they thought was only possible in their dreams.” You know, little stuff like that.
We’re joking, of course. It’s big stuff. And Jim likes big things. Big product selections. Big savings for our customers. Big clown shoes. Big thinking. He’s not a huge fan of big golf handicaps. When he isn’t leading our Customer Ops group, he can be found in a handful of places: on the golf course, hanging out with his wife and kids, or sitting in a comfy chair and reading the news on his phone. Jim tries to be as chill as possible, no matter where he is.
Despite growing up a Chicagarean, Jim is somehow a Packers fan.
When you meet Todd, one of the first things you think is “I bet this guy has relatives in Alaska,” and you’d be right. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Todd. He grew up in Oconomowoc, WI, one of the hardest “Place Names” to ever appear on Wheel of Fortune (it’s all vowels!), and has lived in tons of places ever since. Todd even spent some time in Australia working as a business development manager. At Zoro, he’s a product phenom, helping our annual catalogs become a reality and tons of other stuff along the way.
Outside of work, Todd likes to spend time fixing up and improving his condo and making all his friends jealous of where he works. He can also be found rollerblading around the street fests of Chicago (weather permitting), enjoying indoor sports like darts & bowling, semi-indoor camping. He’s been hooked on sci-fi ever since he saw the moon landing and is planning his own visit. After that he wants to land on all the moons, starting with Phobos.
Todd told us he was published in National Handi-Mans Magazine in the year 20003, a “typo” that confirms he is in fact a time traveler and—by virtue of the transitive property—confirms humanity survives for another 20,000 years.
James grew up in Springfield, IL, our state capital and, with his master’s degree in English, knows better than most that you should use “capital” with an “a” in this sentence instead of “capitol” with an “o.” He is also a whiz at Pictionary, but often gets frustrated in meetings when he tries to explain complex merchandising concepts to the team by drawing pictures that honestly look like a giraffe holding a banana and stomping on the ground when nobody gets that it’s “retail supply chain.”
James has very ambitious goals: getting through 60% of the shows stored in his DVR, performing very occasional moderate exercise, and — most impressively — sitting quietly. How does he even find time to do it all!? Especially now that he’s had Lasik and can play racquetball again. What a crazy busy schedule! At this rate, his dream to visit the Great Barrier Reef before it’s gone might never come to fruition.
He says his favorite activity outside of work is “yardwork.” Ha! Very funny, James!
David is one of the guys at Zoro who knows everything about everything. Go ahead, ask him anything. What’s the MFD rating of a 3 1/8” oval run capacitor? How do I unstick a 2 in. brass swing check valve? How many jelly beans are in this jar? He just knows it, we don’t even ask how. It’s actually pretty impressive for a guy who says that his favorite school subjects were lunch and recess.
David’s extensive computer skills, product knowledge, and experience, not to mention his love for steamed king crab legs, will take him far here at Zoro. That is just the set of characteristics we look for. So next time the adjustable cushion clutch on your inline pneumatic screwdriver fails to accurately control the torque output to the bit, you know who to ask for.
David also knows quite a bit about staying married, as his wife of 35 years can attest.
Technical Product Support is the perfect gig at Zoro for Gary because he is an archery expert. He will take aim at your question and hit the bull’s-eye with the right answer every time. He’s also into metal detecting, so he will scour the landscape until he finds just the response you are looking for buried in a pit of confusion. And he likes fishing, so he will plumb the dark depths of the cold unknown and pull up the resolution to your issue. Oh, and hiking! He will ramble and rove upon the wilderness of your … we should have stopped while we were ahead.
Anyway, Gary is a lifelong Chicago resident and plans to build his next Chicago residence by himself. (We know a great place to get good prices on everything you will need to finish that project, Gary!) He also wants to run a marathon and visit Australia. We think he really just wants to know if the water in the bathtub actually circulates down the drain the opposite direction in the southern hemisphere. Please let us know what you find out, Answer Man.
Gary wants to learn how to speak Polish someday. Powodzenia.
Brian is an enigma. He says he’s not athletic, yet he ran track, played soccer, and wrestled in high school. He says he has no artistic talent, yet he plays the guitar, ukulele, and drums (and goes on and on about artists like Townes Van Zandt). He says his favorite job was camp counselor, but admits his favorite beverage is “the tears of my enemies.” So we really don’t know what to make of him, just yet. But we do know that his experience working in global sourcing and product management, combined with his MBA from IU will serve him well here at Zoro as a Category Manager.
Animals also seem to be a theme in Brian’s life. He grew up near the Brookfield Zoo in Chicagoland, even having worked there briefly, and admits to being the black sheep in his family. If he starts to commune with his animal spirit guide in the break room, we might need to bring HR into the picture. And then there is the little matter of his life goal: “being shot out of a cannon.” Ok, Brian, that’s cool, but what we really want to see is you being shot out of a cannon while playing the ukulele. There could be a whole reality TV show there!
Brian is glad to be part of the “caffeine fueled rocket ship ride” that is Zoro.
Julie is far out and cool. Evidence? She used to work at the company that makes Lava Lamps and she is the lead singer of a rock band called Makrizzle (note that this is a “Rock Band the video game” group, but it’s cool nonetheless). She also refers to her dogs as her “furry children.” So that is where the “far out” part comes from. She also loves Candy Crush and nail polish … a lot. A lot a lot.
Julie considers the first time her grandma let her try coffee as the one event that most impacted her, noting that it changed her life. That, combined with the “furry children,” nail polish obsession, and Candy Crush addiction, should help you understand why we felt she was such a great fit to work here at Zoro. You’ve got to look at Content Analysis from a slightly skewed perspective.
Julie has two actual children as well, but did not specify if they were unusually furry for toddlers.
Sheri, by the numbers: two kids, two dogs, one husband, one brother, and 21 nieces and nephews. We aren’t asking any questions about the math there. She also has visited 36 of these United States, with only 14 to go to complete her goal of visiting all of them. But most importantly, she works for the number one best company anywhere, Zoro. (It will be even better here when she comes through on her promise to bring in baked goods.)
Born and raised just a few miles from the Fox Hole, Sheri is a retail veteran, working in the industry for many years. She brings with her a positive attitude and piano-playing chops that can’t be beat. In her off-hours, she likes to indulge in her self-professed “nerdy pleasure”: watching TED Talks. She especially likes the one where the astrophysicist talks about the time he tasked the CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET) to track the trajectory of cosmic ray particles and measure their charge and energy. That one is a real knee-slapper.
Sheri is a yoga enthusiast and is often seen in the downward facing dog pose during product meetings.
Lisa can hit a 99 MPH fastball. Unfortunately, she can’t do it with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth with two outs in the seventh game of the World Series for the Cubs, but it’s still a very cool athletic ability to have. When she isn’t swinging a bat, or mountain biking, or hiking, or running, Lisa translates the words and online behaviors of our customers into actions to make it easier to find stuff on Zoro.com. Which, in the grand scheme of things, is probably a more valuable trait than silly ol’ baseball savvy.
Lisa who goes by “Lisa K.” because who can pronounce that unwieldy collection of consonants that is her last name likes to enjoy a Captain and Coke while taking in a landscape in the good ol’ outdoors with her husband. As far as future goals go, she looks forward to one day running a “pick your own vegetables” farm. She used to own a “pick someone else’s vegetables” farm but it was a complete disaster since people would get into fights all the time. She whiteboarded the idea and finally decided that “pick your own” is a much better concept. If this farm were located in Alaska on a mountaintop, all the better, as far as Lisa is concerned.
Lisa’s favorite movie is ‘Jurassic Park’ because it takes place almost entirely outdoors.
Laura, a lifelong resident of Zoroville, comes to us with a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising, so we are all going to have to step up our office attire game. Jeans and a Zoro jersey won’t cut it anymore. Ugh. But there might be hope. She says that she “danced her way through college,” so maybe she wasn’t really paying attention. She also claims to be passionate about food, so perhaps we can ply her with baked goods and get a pass when all we have clean is a ripped tee and a pair of dungarees.
Laura’s favorite pastimes are watching Real Housewives in her pajamas with a big glass of wine and DIY projects. One of those things is highly relevant to Zoro, the other, not so much. But considering that she has a toddler daughter, she probably doesn’t get an hour of free time anyway. Laura also says she would like to learn to play guitar, which actually is perfect because the company rock band needs an axe player. The sign up sheet is in the warehouse next to the ping pong table, Laura.
Laura also played the violin for 13 years, so maybe the Zoro band is getting a string section!
Mary can solve all merchandising issues by waving her wand and casting the “sellus onlineus” spell. We don’t even flinch anymore when we hear thunder coming from her desk. Although she probably shouldn’t have turned the opposing team’s ringer into an antelope during our last Buffalo Grove League softball game against Taco Loco. The police are still flummoxed.
Mary enjoys snuggling in bed with a Harry Potter book and a glass of wine. Mary has also noted that as soon as she conjures the spell she plans to make her boyfriend’s beard disappear. Mary has admitted to having a dalliance with the dark arts, so we’re not really sure if she’s a good witch or a bad witch. No matter which witch she is, we’re happy to have her magic on team Zoro!
Mary’s fondest memory is being there when her dad came home after seven years in Iraq, and that is pretty darn magical if you ask us.
Val is the bomb. No, seriously: Val is an explosion of excitement and turns every room she walks into a party…. Or so you think. Our resident trickster has started off her tenure in our product department with a bang, braap, floosh, and thwarp. Someone gave you salt in your coffee instead of sugar? Val. Someone placed a whoopee cushion down with ninja-like, precise timing? Val. Someone rigged your desk drawer to only open an inch before jamming? Val.
When she’s not busy being the office cut-up she likes to give back to the community and also support her favorite basketball team: DA BULLS. Val also likes to kick it with her homeboy Leonardo DiCaprio while they drink Moscow mules in Spain and he reads excerpts from The Great Gatsby. Okay, so that didn’t happen, but a girl can dream!
Val is a big fan of working out and running marathons… er… marathoning television shows. Close enough.
From an early age, Sam has found herself burdened by a condition known as Nugatory Non-Exiguous Recall Defect, wherein she has perfect recall of extraordinary amounts of completely useless information. After briefly considering a job as Professional Quiz Show Contestant but failing to “stop making funny faces at the camera” while recording shows, Sam started to consider her options. Jilted by the pain and rejection brought on by her gift, Sam went to college to become a photographer so she would never again have to commit anything to memory. Even though her intention was to run from the past, she found herself creating memories nonetheless. Curses!
Fortunately, a few years later, someone at Zoro recognized her on the street from her Quiz Show Pilot days, hired her solely based on her ability to make an endless stream of hilarious facial expressions, and surprisingly found that the power of N.N.E.R.D. could be harnessed and used for business purposes.
Now, Sam spends her time doing very important work, like trying to remember the difference between entomology and etymology.
In her spare time, Sam enjoys cooking Filipino street food for large groups of people, going to the park with her puppy, and making excel spreadsheets with lists of things that she likes to do in her spare time.
Her spirit animal is probably a Sock Monkey, and she admires the way Katherine Hepburn and Diane Keaton wear pleated pants.
Margaret, our graphic designer and web couturier, makes sure Zoro is as cute as a button and enforces branding guidelines like a fierce mother protecting her children. Believe us, no one dares to use Pantone Metallic 8181 without her permission. Also, she actually is a fierce mother who protects her children with her husband Dominik. When not designing emails, flyers, landing pages, newsletters, catalogs, calendars, mailers, ads, and banners, she likes to sit and read an awesome book with some coffee. She hopes to soon do so at a Parisian café, but we just have too many projects for her. Zoro.com won’t design itself!
A native of Poland, Margaret has degrees in both Graphic Design and Photography. You’re actually looking at her handiwork right now, as a matter of fact. That’s so meta, right?! In addition to the visual arts, she is really passionate about her family and hopes to take them to New Zealand to participate in the tribal Maori haka dance where you stomp around, stick out your tongue, and scream. Her kids already do it anyway, so they’re all set. She says her worst characteristic is being a perfectionist. But we really don’t want her to work on fixing that.
Margaret absolutely loves Zoro, both the company and the cute little fox guy.
Like many of the “Children of the Corn” of Iowa, both Cynthia and her 10-year-old twin boys ominously emerged fully-formed from the blackhearted fields of the golden, waving crops. Since then, she has been malevolently designing the look and feel of websites with a sinister and pernicious ulterior motive of making them easier to use and pleasant to interact with. Bwahahahaha! In addition to this horrifying career of helping our customers enjoy their experience on Zoro.com, Cynthia enjoys hot yoga, singing in the shower, and creating delicious baked goods.
She also applies her boundless energy to writing a book that she hopes to get published. We haven’t yet asked her what the book is about, and it’s probably for the best. Who knows what is going on in a devious mind that is most passionate about “making the world a more user-friendly place, one interface at a time,” as she stated on her new employee questionnaire. Shocking! Frightful! And if you need more evidence of what kind of “person” Cynthia is, her favorite drink is “Lemon Drop Martinis with crushed blueberries.” You see that? Crushed blueberries! Crushed! Won’t somebody think of the blueberries!
On second thought, Cynthia is a Cubs fan, so maybe she is alright after all.
Luis intentionally parks over several parking spots so that you won’t park next to him, or, as he would put it: “so he doesn’t park next to you.” Yeah, he’s that guy. What Luis doesn’t know is that we’re aware that he’s warm, caring, has a wonderful sense of humor, and often smells pleasant.
In Luis’s spare time he likes to noodle, elongate coins, and has an extensive mitten handcuffs collection and do … “car guy stuff.” We don’t know. He has some pretty cool tattoos. That’s interesting, right? If you hear a wind blowing in the distance and it’s talking about Twitter, it’s probably Luis.
For real: Don’t park next to Luis.
If SEO is the dark arts of the Internet, then Vlad is our warlock. Vladimir likes napping, his wife and kids, and geopolitics. In his spare time he likes to read.
Vlad wears some really snappy shirts. Or are they buttons?
Ashley likes dead stuff, knitting, things with tentacles, and cats. So, you know, your run-of-the-mill weirdo. Ashley comes to Zoro from Planet UX and likes to craft beautiful and fantasmical user experiences.
In her free time, Ashley likes to ice fish, blow glass, and continue her search for the Kraken. Okay, that’s all lies, but close enough.
If given the opportunity to be anything she wants, she would probably evolve into some kind of hybrid unicorn-squid-human-computer conglomeration and would spend her nights and weekends striking fear into the hearts of unsuspecting civilians.
Ashley’s favorite food is probably nachos or sushi. Why do we know this? She named her cats after those two things.