Unshakable optimism

"If you wait long enough,

life will undo your certainty." 


#MilewithMollie – Best 15 Minutes of My Day

So, it turns out this #MilewithMollie thing is pretty fun. Not only is it giving me some public accountability to get my butt to the gym and train, the conversations are a blast. The only thing that would be more fun? If y’all clicked over to donate when you have a minute. I sure appreciate all the support!

A few days ago I got to speak with Tom Hammond, who made MY day by saying it was the best 15 minutes of his day – and he’d spent his morning at the Paychex 2018 Annual Stockholders Meeting where a $.56/share dividend was announced. Enjoy the interview, and check out his video message!

Let’s get to it!


#MileWithMollie 4 - Asynchronous mile run by Tom Hammond in Rochester, NY, and pounded out in the boxing gym by Mollie, October 11, 2018

What company do you work for, and what do you do there? I have worked for Paychex for 28 years and I am the vice president of product and corporate strategy. It’s my job to look out the window and see what’s coming in the industry and make sure we have the right products to serve our 650,000 customers in the US and Europe.

What was your very first job? I had the same first job my parents put all six of their children through – I was a “budder” at a nursery in upstate New York. I worked with one of the long-standing nursery staff, sitting on the ground as he slit a razor thin opening in the stem of an apple tree seedling, and I would insert a bud that would determine what variety of apple the tree would ultimately produce. It made the idea of running as fast as I could to get a college education incredibly attractive. It was probably one of the smartest things my parents did.

If you could trade jobs with anyone for a week, who would it be? Without hesitation, Roy Williams, the North Carolina Tarheels basketball coach. I coached basketball for 15 years, and I love to recruit, strategize, and develop players. And there’s nothing like the emotion of college basketball.

If you could change one thing about work in general, what would it be? I would set aside 5 minutes every day with no meetings to let people be mindful and think of what they are grateful for. Gratitude brings incredible positivity.

What’s the “random shiny object” that has your attention lately? I am a diehard Buffalo Bills fan. I spend a lot of time off work – and sometimes at work – wondering if they can win a championship. We have a new quarterback this year so we’re hopeful! (Side note: Tom and I had a great exchange about the late Tim Russert, host of Meet the Press, who would sign off on game days by wishing the Bills luck. Russert, like Tom, shared a great love of the team with his dad.)

What’s the last movie you saw in a theatre? The Post – I love anything Spielberg and Tom Hanks do, and it did not disappoint. (Side note: If you like politics, or history, or newspapers, or amazing women, pick up Personal History, Katharine Graham’s stellar autobiography)

Who or what was the subject of the most recent photo on your phone? It’s a picture of my 7-year-old son, right after he scored in his basketball game last Saturday. He looks like he won the lottery, and it’s absolutely great.

What question would you ask Mollie? If you had a totally different career, what would it be and where would you live?

That’s a great question. I think I’d go back to my roots, and work in a community theatre teaching kids and teenagers the lessons I learned about how human energy and creativity can take wood and metal and fabric and a blank room and create magic. And I like seasons so it would likely be in New England or the Pacific Northwest.

My huge thanks to Tom for sharing his time and stories with us! And don’t forget to donate!


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