May 24, 2017
Milestone Spotlight features an interview with a recent recipient of a Penguin Random House Milestone Award, which is given out to employees who have reached 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, etc. years of service with the company. The Employee Milestone Spotlight interview allows us celebrate our colleagues’ service by highlighting their successes within the company, and, is a chance for them to share some fun and personal information about themselves!
This month, we shine the spotlight on Ben Cheslawski
, Adult Mass Merch. Sales Manager, who celebrated his fortieth year with the company on February 21, 2017! Get the scoop on Ben by checking out his interview below:
What is your role at Penguin Random House?
I handle all PRH adult books that are sold to Hudson News Co in their wholesale division. This includes buying offices in NJ, PA and NH that distribute to the 6 New England states, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC.
What do you find most challenging about your role at PRH?
The vast amount of new titles. When I began 40 years ago I sold Bantam Books. All we had were 36 new to mass market books a month. I was there for the first hardcover and the first trade paperback from Bantam Books.
What is your favorite book of all time? What is your favorite book right now?
My favorite all time is THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY
. My favorite right now is anything by Lee Child
What is the most interesting job you’ve ever had?
Helping one of my best friends in his apple orchard. I’ve spent most of the last 20 years every weekend in September and October out in the orchard. No heavy lifting….. just helping families You Pick their own fruit. I’ve been there long enough that the children I helped in the beginning are bringing their children to me. They introduce me as the apple professor and I try and explain a little about the farm and apples.
Who is or has been one of the biggest influences in your life (professionally or personally)?
My father. He was one of the smartest well-read people I ever knew. He died very young but he instilled in his children a strong work ethic that has served me well. My twin brother and I had our first jobs (taking out the trash for an elderly neighbor) when were in the first grade. We could only take money from the neighbor if we put it in the bank. My parents created workers and savers at the same time. I’ve had a job ever since.
Every employee celebrating a milestone anniversary is given the opportunity to be featured in Employee Milestone Spotlight. Think there is a milestone we’ve missed? Let us know! Email Faith Engstrom
in HR to set up an interview.
August 18, 2016
Each month, Milestone Spotlight features an interview with a recent recipient of a Penguin Random House Milestone Award, which is given out to employees who have reached 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, etc. years of service with the company. The Employee Milestone Spotlight interview allows us celebrate our colleagues’ service by highlighting their successes within the company, and, is a chance for them to share some fun and personal information about themselves!
This month, we shine the spotlight on Sue Grimshaw
, Category Specialist and Editor at Large, who celebrated her fifth year with the company on March 28, 2016! Get the scoop on Sue by checking out her interview below:
Describe your role at Penguin Random House.
My title is Category Specialist and Editor at Large. I’m an acquiring editor for the digital division for the Loveswept and Flirt imprints and have also acquired for Bantam during my five years of employment.
Why did you decide to join Penguin Random House?
The first sixteen years of employment in the book industry were as romance buyer for Borders Incorporated. A year before their closing, Scott Shannon contacted me asking if I’d be interested in working in a new division. The timing was perfect.
What is your favorite part about your job?
I love working with our team; the digital division has the best group of people. I also enjoy my authors and their amazing stories.
[caption id="attachment_3054" align="alignright" width="300"]
Romantic Times 2016 dinner with some of our attending authors[/caption]
What would people never guess you do in your role?
In my previous job, as a book buyer, I’ve always been very focused on the entire vertical process of buying, marketing and selling books — good or bad, that has not changed today. I’m forever promoting on my social media pages enticing readers to buy our books.
What is your proudest moment at Penguin Random House?
Definitely achieving my first New York Times
bestseller, that’s something no editor forgets.
Before working at Penguin Random House, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I was a cosmetic buyer for Kmart prior to Borders, and I enjoyed traveling overseas where we worked with vendors to produce cosmetic accessories. Long flights but always a great time.
What advice would you give to recent new hires?
Be passionate about what you do and be patient. Good things take time and the harder you work the more you’ll achieve.
[caption id="attachment_3057" align="alignright" width="300"]
In action off-road riding in Michigan (2015)[/caption]
What is an ability you wish you had?
A photographic memory would be wonderful
If you could travel anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go?
Australia — there is so much to see, so much that appeals to me. It’s on my bucket list.
If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
Fearless — I’ll leave it at that.