Tom Cholewa

Tom Cholewa

Brand Manager

I’m from a small New York town along the shores of Lake Ontario, closer to Toronto than NYC (a fact that really messed with the Washingtonians I met when I served in the Army at Ft. Lewis). I now live in a spitting-distance suburb to Buffalo, NY with two women and a dog. Let your mind go crazy!

I studied something in college that’s supposed to cost as much as an above-average mortgage, but the experience is a little foggy now. I’ve learned 10x more in three years at RevenueZen than I did in 4.5 years of college, but that’s not unusual. There’s college and then there’s reality.

I use a slice of my spare time working on a website for a local non-profit. My ongoing project is time management so I can branch out and work with more human services and environmental charities. 

What’s a perfect day for you?

I wake up naturally between 4:30 and 5:00 after an uninterrupted 7 hours of sleep. I set the coffee on a timer the night before so it’s ready for me when I roll downstairs. I watch the “news” (aka: op-ed programming) while scrolling through my New York Times feed. Once I realize that the world is no better off than it was the day before, I shut down my devices and savor the joe, black and strong. After about 20 minutes of this, I suit up and head out to the gym, work out for an hour. I come home, drive my daughter to school, walk the dog, then boot up and get to work.

I sketched out my day out in a bulletpoint list the night before and nothing unexpected interrupts the flow. The tasks fall off my list with each Sharpie checkmark I dash off; my mind is clear and focused. Time is weightless, I’m lost in it.

I pick up my daughter at 2:15, and as we drive I gently interrogate her about her day. She’s 13 and moody. Some days, when she’s chatty, she rambles on for the entire 8-minute drive, while other days her vocabulary devolves into three words: “good,” “nothing,” and “no.” 

I’m back in my office at 2:30 to finish my list and tie up loose ends. After, if I have something new to write, I start mind-mapping and note jotting until something good starts to emerge. This is another process in which I tend to get lost, so I’m only aware of the time when my wife comes home from work, greeted by a volly of exuberant barks from our tawny mutt-terrier, Isaac.

Is my perfect day exciting? What do you think? Read it again (if you can stay awake). In my perfect day am I a bit of a control freak? Guilty, and I don’t care. Alexander Pope summed up my perfect kind of day when he said…

“Order is Heaven’s first law.”

On a day when I’m an orderly, law abiding citizen of the cosmos, I get within striking distance of perfection. 

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Two things:

Writing, once I silence my internal editor – a loud, bossy, rude sonamabitch who has zero faith in my ability to string two sentences together. Once he shuts up, I dive right in.

Scoring a big win for a client. Doesn’t matter if it’s a closed/won deal with a big-fish prospect or a well written, optimized blog post. When our clients are happy, I’m happy.

What’s a recipe that no one makes better than you?

Coffee. I was a Starbucks barista for about six months, where I learned all the finer points on creating the perfect brew (provided you like it European-strong).

What’s the most bizarre email address you’ve ever had? I set it up in college and was stunned to realize that was unavailable. I mean, c’mon! Really? How many namesakes do I have in the world?

  • Buffalo, NY