He's more Tom Sawyer than log-sawyer, and regrets not having done

that nude bungee jump yet. Meet Jon Harris, VP, media development and

communications for

Describe the company you work for is the Internet's premier

destination for products, services and advice for the home. Based in

lovely Evanston, IL, the company employs approximately 120 hard-working


What do you do? In addition to handling all communications for the

company, I continue to develop media opportunities and promotions for and our spokespeople, including the lovable 'Mr. Fix-It,'

Lou Manfredini.

Tell us something amusing about your company People think that everyone

who works here is a 'home specialist.' They come up to me all the time

and ask me how to fix their toilet.

I wisely refer them to our site.

How did you get into PR? At Rutgers University, I was majoring in

communications and took a PR theory class with Gil Bashe, then adjunct

professor and president of healthcare agency Sutton PR. One day, I

arrived late for class and Gil pulled me aside. I thought I was in

serious trouble. To my surprise, he offered me a job. It beat my other

career option at the time, a 'frame stylist' at Lens Crafters.

What was your best stunt? 'Today Builds A House with,' a

12-week series with NBC's Today, benefiting Habitat for Humanity. A true

highlight of my career.

What was your biggest screw-up? Well, there are no screw-ups, only

learning experiences ... right?

What's the most daring thing you've ever done? Next month, I'm slated to

sing the national anthem at a Cubs game. I guess that's pretty


Unfortunately, I have no naked bungee jumping stories.

What time do you get up? Whenever my seven-month-old wants me to.

What invention would make your job easier? Mental telepathy, getting

people to say what you want them to say and understand that that nothing

is 'off the record.'

What is the biggest item you've ever put on expenses? Hmmm, it probably

was a fully furnished house. The folks at Visa just can't get enough of


What do you wish you hadn't said to the media? While handling the

banning of a commercial at the insistence of a top college sports

organization, I was quoted as saying, 'We agreed to disagree agreeably.'

Forgive me, it was during my Stephen Covey phase.

If you were an animal, what would you be? I'm highly allergic to animal

dander, so that may be an issue.

Name one thing about your past people would be surprised to learn I

studied voice at Carnegie Hall for several years and once played Huck

Finn in a Kodak commercial.

Who would you most like to work with? The Beatles, Frank Sinatra,

Elvises (Presley and Costello), Bruce Springsteen, Mr. Fix-It ...

they're all giants.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in