Happy Boss’s Day! An Interview with (Our Boss) Paul Hoffman

In honor of Boss’s Day we thought we’d share a little about Paul Hoffman, our boss and CEO of Calendars.com. Paul has been with Calendar Holdings, our parent company, since September 1993, when the company began. He also led the launch of Calendars.com in October 1999. In case you haven’t heard, it is our 15th anniversary this month!

When Paul first started his tenure, he was a seasonal employee charged with setting up store register and inventory tracking systems. Now he is here to tell us more about his life and career while adding a shocking answer to the pirate vs. ninja debate.

Paul Hoffman Boss's Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your favorite memory of your tenure here?

I’ve been here too long to pick just one, plus I’ve already forgotten what happened in the first 10 years. However, a theme has emerged: my favorite memories all involve the fantastic people who have worked here. Countless belly laughs with Marc Winkelman, CEO of our parent company; the list of “Bobonics” that Michael Parker created years ago, (this was a collection of all the sayings that Bob Harvey, our ex-Vice President, used to say); Cal-Lympics competitions, the Calendars version of the Olympics; the Karaoke Christmas Party we had on 6th Street; the video interviews we made of all the departments back in about 2005, etc.

What is the thing you like best about your work?

First, I think the thing I like best is seeing the results of our work, usually very quickly. Unlike many larger organizations, we are small and nimble enough to be able to conceive enhancements, then make the changes, and see the impact very quickly.

Second, the thing I like best here is also the thing I like least: the seasonality of the business. This is especially challenging on our brick-and-mortar store side, where we open and close about 950 retail stores within about 12 weeks each year. We do not get an opportunity to tweak and refine the operation of those stores because our selling season is so short. However, this seasonality is also a blessing because it reduces our annual occupancy expenses for stores and allows us to make changes in the spring and summer each year, which we can deploy out consistently to all stores in the following fall.

On the digital side of the business, this seasonality is obviously less of an issue since we have the ability to very quickly implement data-informed digital changes to products, pricing, and promotions on our websites. But still, we do 90% of all our business (stores and online) in about 4 months each year. It’s a whirlwind. But it’s a mostly fun whirlwind!

What is the funniest thing to happen to you recently?

My 8 year old daughter, Annie, is teaching me to play the piano. We recently did a rendition of Heart and Soul – a total crack up. She often reminds me that she can’t teach me too well because she wants to continue to be the best piano player in the family. She has no idea how LITTLE she has to worry about there.

Pirates or Ninjas? Why?

Tough call. Neither is particularly honorable. They are both mercenaries, devoid of a moral code. May I pick Samurai instead? Those guys at least had integrity, honor, and conformed to a strict moral code of ethics in battle.

What is one of your favorite quotes?

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” – Oscar Wilde

If there was a movie about your life, who would you play you in the movie?

Robert Duvall when he was 25 years younger. Also, we would have to change a few minor things about my life story. I would have to have been a cowboy, a lady-killer, quick with a gun and a good joke.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix/Amazon?

The Roosevelts. Before that it was House of Cards, like everyone else.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod or in your music library?

Lately, it’s anything by Amanda Shires. Saw her at the Cactus Café a couple of months ago and haven’t stopped listening to her stuff. Also, I am not-so-secretly in love with her.

What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?

Evenings/Sundays (date nights with Amy, my wife)/March.

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