EMPLOYEE PROFILE: Tavia Kowalchuk, Senior Director of Marketing
How long have you been with HarperCollins?
The end of this week will be my 14-year anniversary!
Your first day at HarperCollins…what was your first impression?
My first day was a total whirlwind. It was my first office job, so the environment was unfamiliar. When I started in 1998, HarperCollins had recently switched to a company-wide e-mail system, so I underwent an hours-long training session with other new hires around e-mail etiquette and other systems, like PIX.
What has been your most exciting or challenging project since then?
When I was the HarperCollins sales rep to Barnes & Noble, I loved supporting the rebranding and re-launching of the Harper Perennial brand – that project gave me the first inkling I that I might like marketing. And now, as part of the William Morrow marketing team, I definitely enjoy trying to stay on top of all the new digital marketing opportunities we have to get our books in front of consumers – that’s both challenging and exciting. When we get it right and see the needle move on preorders or POS – wow, that feels great!
If you were asked to run HarperCollins for a day, what would be your first item of business?
No meetings on Fridays! Seriously, though, I would institute a talent exchange program, not only between headquarters in different cities, but also between departments in the same office. I have always thought spending six months as an “exchange student” either at another office or in another department would be a great way to improve communication, understanding, and leadership.
What opportunities do you see for HarperCollins as the publishing industry continues to change?
Continuing to push the envelope as far as digital publishing goes is a great opportunity – I have heard it said in meetings, and I agree, that enhanced e-books could be a great first digital format for our priority publications.
Tell us your favorite industry quote, from a mentor, colleague, author, etc.
“You gotta read this!” It’s how every book begins its life, many times over. For me, the thrill of matching a book to a reader will never wane – nor will the thrill of having thousands (and thousands) of consumers validate our choices as publishers. “See? I knew you’d love it.”