The NFL season is over, the Winter Olympics are coming to a close, so what do we have to look forward to? Well, MVP Monday of course! Every Monday we highlight an employee who has been working their buns off to keep this ship moving! Our MVP this week has been punching it into overdrive to meet the demands of our Hit Parade division. Meet Joe Kurczewski, a member of our HP card team! As always, we sit down to talk and learn more about our MVP!
– Do you have a favorite Winter Olympic sport?
Oh man, Hockey has always been my favorite, but that’s such a boring answer, so I’m also a big fan of curling.
I’ll let you have your own opinion, but the fact that you followed up hockey with CURLING because hockey was a ‘boring answer’ just made my day.
– What are your interests outside of work?
I’m a Top 3 expert on 1942 World War II historical items. That’s a complete lie, I’m not that interesting. Besides the obvious stuff like sports, I’m involved in a big community of simulation sports leagues, I host a couple of podcasts, and I help run the largest and most competitive co-ed touch football league in Western New York, the Topper Sports League.
Aside from being a habitual liar, Joe is very involved with several activities outside of work. Whether it’s gaming or touch football, you better look out for this man!
– Do you have any hobbies?
Well, the already mentioned co-ed football league takes up a bunch of my time between helping with that and playing. I also play floor hockey, and I’ve spent a lot of my nights listening to music and playing Halo Infinite as well.
– Do you have any pets?
DO I EVER! I’m the proud dog dad of my 6 year old shelter mutt, Bayley. I got her from the Buffalo Animal Shelter when she was 2 months old, and even if she’s cost me a *lot* of money with needing TWO dog ACL repair surgeries (two different legs, 2 months apart. Kids, am i right?) she’s the most worth it thing I’ve ever had.
Yes, our furry children can be expensive and a major pain in the buns. However, she’s adorable and deserves all the love in the world, and we’re glad she found a loving home!
– What are your favorite sports teams and why?
I’ve been a big Buffalo sports fan since birth, most likely because I enjoy being sad and heartbroken. (Although, obviously, the Bills are going to win the Super Bowl next year and make the pain worth it!). Other than that, I’m a big Ohio State Football fan, and North Carolina basketball fan as well. (Duke is terrible, don’t forget that).
In true Buffalo fashion, Joe says we’re taking it all the way next year! Also, you and Tom must really duke it out (no pun intended) over your favorite college basketball teams!
– Are you a former/current athlete? What sports did you play? What was your favorite?
We’re kind of just throwing around the word “athlete”, but I did play basketball in 8th grade (with my career highlight of a 7 point game in my only start). Everything else has been rec league stuff, but I was on a traveling tournament floor hockey team, so that’s kind of something.
Joe is being bashful; anyone who watched his seven point performance in 8th grade understood that this kid was the next phenom. You ARE an athlete, you just don’t know it!
– What’s your favorite product that we sell?
This is like asking someone to choose their favorite child. My “main” task is building a good chunk of the Hit Parade card products, so I’ve come across a ton of cards across all sports that I found really, really cool. I have a bunch of favorites because of it, but I’ll say Sapphire Football is always the coolest group of cards.
Being surrounded by so many cool products every day, it makes it hard to choose one to be your favorite. However, Sapphire Football is a top notch product that is a favorite among a lot of customers as well! Shop all of our Hit Parade products here!
– Do you have any collections of your own?
Absolutely not. I tend to have an addictive personality with collecting, and getting into Comics or Cards would just completely take over my life more than it already has. There are so many cool things out there. I also feel the same about the Funko Pops, but I’ve made myself a promise to not get started down that path until I find a Mega Man. Once that happens, I fear for my bank account.
We respect your self control, Joe. Mega Man is out there somewhere though… 😉
– What’s an interesting fact about you?
There’s so many. The best story is about how I sort of leaked the Sabres’ third jersey to the internet by accident. But, I’ve also been in a movie, I once hit 3 double bullseyes in one turn at darts, I was chosen for the lead role in my kindergarten Christmas play (mostly because I was the best reader), and I’ve been to two Wrestlemanias.
This man is living in a movie, so it’s only right that he starred in one as well. We’re very interested to hear more about how you “accidentally” leaked a Sabres jersey to the internet!
-Tell me about your background with DA/HP? What attracted you to work for us?
My good friend Tom Hughes told me that Hit Parade was looking to add onto the team, and it would be a great place for me to work and that I’d really enjoy it. I don’t like admitting it out loud, but I trust his judgment, and it turns out that he was absolutely correct. Don’t tell him I said any of that, thanks.
We’ll ensure that Tom is blocked from reading this portion of the blog, so no worries. We’re very excited that you love your time here at Dave and Adam’s!
-What was your career before DA/HP?
Before Hit Parade, I had spent 8 1/2 years making life saving drugs for sick children. That’s the most heroic way to say that I mixed drugs and nutrition bags in a special lab for home infusion patients.
Wow, what a guy. Not only has he been in a movie and runs a football league, but he also helps save lives. We’re waiting on someone to pick up Joe’s story for a modern day hero documentary.
-Is there a particular moment or time that sticks out about your experience here?
I’ve only been here a few months, but I’ve already had some great experiences. I’m not even really sucking up here, I swear, but seeing how fun and generous Adam was at the Christmas party really cemented to me that I came to the right place to work. I’m not used to having a leader like that in my history. I also really enjoyed going to card shows and meeting all of the cool people that we get our card inventory from as well. Everyone is really nice and it’s been a ton of fun getting to know the people on that side of our business here.
Dave and Adam’s is consistently voted one of the best places to work in Buffalo, so it should come as no surprise that Joe loves his job! There are so many fun/interesting opportunities for our employees to be involved in, and we’re glad that you get to be a part of it!
-Is there an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of?
Back when I was about 19, I worked at Tops, and I raised nearly $2,000 alone for Juvenile Diabetes research in a few weeks. That was really cool, and I even got people to donate saying if I hit a certain mark, I’d shave my head. I hit the mark, so I did it. It was really awesome.
Wow, that’s commitment! How awesome! We can’t imagine you without your luscious locks!
-What inspires you to be the best at your job?
Being happy at my job! I love what I do, who I work with, and who I work for. Being a part of a community of such fantastic people that I get to see nearly every day of my life keeps me in such high spirits that I never want to let them down.
Joe’s terrific attitude is matched by all of our employees. It doesn’t matter what your title is at Dave and Adam’s; We are a team! And, of course, we have plenty of laughs together throughout the day.
-What has been your biggest challenge here, and what did you do to solve it on your own?
My biggest challenge here so far has been trying to work my way into the Dave and Adam’s Fantasy Football league. I hear a *lot* of bad fantasy takes from the people currently in the league every day, and I know I would eventually dominate these leagues. I have a very impressive fantasy football resume (I was even in Matthew Berry’s book, with my own chapter title and everything!) and I think I’d be a fantastic addition to the league. But currently, I haven’t been able to find a way in yet, but that will hopefully change, eventually.
You heard the man! If you wanna be the best then you have to beat the best, and Joe is the self proclaimed best! We’ll see what the future holds for you 😉