The 800-CEO-READ Family
Photos & video by Kathrine Schleicher of Ellagraph Studios.
Located in Milwaukee's historic Third Ward, 800-CEO-READ has been in the business of business books for over 25 years. Our founder, Jack Covert, was hired by the late David Schwartz, owner of the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops, an independent chain of bookstores in Milwaukee from 1927-2009, to promote business and computer books to the Milwaukee business community.
His championship of obscure works has helped turn such books as The Goal into national best-sellers, and his monthly best seller list is a frequently cited standard." Then-Doubleday/Currency editor, Harriet Rubin, described Covert as "not simply a bookseller--he's a tracker and a prophet" (Inc., 1995).
In 2000, Jack began to write book reviews called Jack Covert Selects, where each month he would pick the new and notable business books and write short reviews to be sent to papers around the nation. These reviews led to the writing of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time, a book that not only lists the best business books, but provides references to nearly 400 notable books for the business reader.
Over the past decade, 800-CEO-READ has concentrated on selling business books while also spreading great business ideas via its daily weblog, its monthly newsletter, The Keen Thinker, the monthly publication of essays on ChangeThis, its annual Business Book Awards and the yearly magazine, In The Books.
Carol Grossmeyer was surprised to wake up one morning and find herself owner and CEO of 800-CEO-READ. After 30 years of bookselling along side the late David Schwartz (including a bookshop romance, marriage and many great bottles of Bordeaux) Carol carried the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops to their sad end. Luckily, 800-CEO-READ, the Schwartz Bookshops' sister company, is still going strong, helmed by Carol's longtime friend and now business partner, Jack Covert. While spending her days communicating with banks, accountants and attorneys can be stimulating in it's own way, Carol's true passions lie in great books, foreign films, good food and good company. And that is exactly what she hopes to sustain and grow 800-CEO-READ as—a good company. You can contact Carol at carol (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Jack Covert is the founder and president of 800-CEO-READ, now an independent company, but longtime partner of the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops. Hired twenty-five years ago by the late David Schwartz to promote business and computer books to the Milwaukee business community, Jack used his considerable sales skills and innate business acumen to grow that 3-shelf business section into the specialty business book retailer he leads today. Contact Jack at jack (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Jon Mueller developed a serious crush on 800-CEO-READ in 2006, and began following us around with a video camera. A background in digital media and publishing, and an MBA degree kept the company from pressing charges, and instead we hired him to handle sales, events, blogging, and all sorts of other stuff. Jon now oversees day-to-day activity, business development, and general hanging out with the rest of the awesome people at 800-CEO-READ as the General Manager. Contact Jon if you have a big idea and he'll make something happen: jon (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
For the past 8 years Aaron Schleicher has been the one man sales force and author services specialist at 8CR. You can usually find Aaron hidden under a baseball cap, with his feet kicked up on his desk, talking with authors, publishers, and businesses about how 8CR can help ambitious authors get their books in the hands of people around the globe. Outside the office you can find him hidden away making candles, listening to records, and making music. You can contact Aaron at aaron (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Michael Jantz joined 800-CEO-READ in mid-2012. His previous six years in marketing and multimedia development provided an interesting background, but there was always the English degree, nagging quietly from the bottom of the file drawer. Michael's love for books and learning has finally regained control of his life and he now handles 8CR's special projects, along with strengthening author outreach and customer service. If you want your order customized (or if you just want to order a bunch of books), you can contact Michael at michael (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Working with hard-nosed, no-nonsense, take no prisoners business books has not hindered the globetrotting Meg Bacik one bit! Armed with a groovy disposition, awesome fashion sense and courageous wit, Meg has effortlessly taken on some of life's most challenging offerings; home ownership, marriage, career, in-laws, a dog and yes, even working with Jack Covert for over a dozen years!! Usually you can find her right next to her sassy Roy-friend at the 8CRs HQ. You can contact Meg at meg (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Roy Normington has found that one shouldn't try to catch a whole bee's hive with a butterfly net. He has traveled through his life with that perspective in the back of his mind's eye, and while this may have kept him from making horrible decisions in life, he has worked for Jack Covert since 1994. Some things are better left as a mystery. You can contact Roy at roy (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Shawn Quinn started with the company when it opened in 1927. Well, it sometimes seems that way... It was actually 1989. At the time, the company that would become 800-CEO-READ was known as the "Business Desk," because it was just one long desk that you stood at with multiple phones. (It was a real big deal to get a fax machine a couple years later.) Shawn's future wife, who he hadn't met yet, was one of the four employees when he started. They got married in 1996 and now have a 9 year old daughter. Shawn later went back to school for a second degree and started doing the accounting for 800-CEO-READ in 1998—a position he still holds. You can contact Shawn at shawn (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Mel Koenig is our money collector and dispenser, co-op collector and events coordinator. She can help you with questions involving moving money from our pile to yours, from your pile to ours, or what color napkins to use. Mel loves Milwaukee and is married with two grown kids, two old dogs and two young cats. You can contact Mel at mel (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Sally Haldorson is the curator of KnowledgeBlocks and part of the 800-CEO-READ creative team. She reads, writes, edits, posts, tweets, and just generally futzes with anything written that needs some fiddling. Helping Jack and Todd craft The 100 Best Business Books of All Time was a pretty good gig too. You can contact Sally at sally (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Dylan Schleicher was hired as 800-CEO-READ's shipper/receiver in January of 2003. He snuck out of that job and into customer service before moving into the nebulous position he now occupies. Beside writing regularly for the company's Daily Blog and other outlets, Dylan is now the company's in-house designer, resident illustrator, and the managing editor of ChangeThis.com. You can reach him at dylan (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Todd Lazarski has been the Shipper/Receiver at 8CR since 2007. If you've purchased a book with us since then, he has personally packaged your order with care, love and tenderness, and sent it your way. When he's not counting boxes or moving pallets, he is pursuing a freelance writing career, honing his Ping Pong skills, or giving himself blisters with his ol' guitar. You can contact Todd at toddl (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.
Zach Karpinski is our programmer and entire IT department. He has worked with us since 2005 and has been a full time employee since September of 2008. When things go wrong with our web sites or computers, it is his job to fix it. Zach lives with his wife Kristin and children in Shorewood. You can contact Zach at zach (at) 800ceoread (dot) com.