Welcome back to "Meet the Paupers" — this week, we're spotlighting our fun-loving PPP production assistant, Jen Gazzo.

The eldest of eight children, Jen grew up in a very busy household.  When she wasn't babysitting or playing with siblings, she had her nose in a book or was recording family adventures in one of her many journals. Theatre Arts and English were her academic concentrations at a little SUNY school at the foot of the Shawangunk Mountains in New Paltz, New York.  Using her degree as a spring board into retail management, Jen truly feels at home with her career here at Peter Pauper Press.

"I love working behind the scenes to make our Peter Pauper products as pretty and as perfect as possible," shares Jen.  "It's like working backstage at a show. You have a big job, but no one can see you.  I also enjoy the process," she adds.  "Witnessing the birth of an idea and watching its stages of growth from discussion and research, to mechanical specifications and samples, to finished product on the store shelves is very satisfying."  Jen is also enthusiastic about journals, paper, and pens.  "My siblings used to tease me about smelling books.  Now I get to do it for a living!"

The list of industries Jen has worked for in the past has included an interesting variety of products and services, including pool and spa supplies, tennis and golf apparel and equipment, tanning and tanning products, mattresses, family portraits, and advertising.  She feels the Peter Pauper brand she now represents is very worthwhile.  "The availability of simple things like a journal and a pen encourages creativity.  Our children's line certainly fosters imaginative growth, and our cute gift items can really get you out of a jam!"

When she is not busy at Peter Pauper liaising between departments, checking her checklist of checklists, and smelling books, Jen pursues her passion for puppetry, poetry and prose; writing scripts for puppet shows, and creating puppets.  She lives in the New York's beautiful Hudson Valley with her acclaimed writer husband, Walter Keady.

What was the name of your imaginary childhood friend?  Mike and Jim.

What mildly embarrassing song or musical artist do you secretly love? George Michael.

If you had one superpower, what would it be? Invisibility.

How do you want to be remembered? As genuine (no pun intended).

What’s the last thing that made you laugh out loud unexpectedly? My co-workers.

What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?  Carrots.





Welcome to Meet the Paupers: The Pet Edition. People have great relationships with their pets and PPP staffers are no exception. Some of our pets have been our companions for years, some are new family members, some are rescue pets, and some have recently passed away. I hope you enjoy their pictures as much as I enjoyed compiling them for this post.

Meet LaRue, who was found 1-1/2 years ago in "the street" in front of our office building. She was adopted by one of our editors, and has been living the life ever since. She shares her space with two dogs, and often seems to think they are her prey. Here she looks like she could star in a Halloween movie.







Meet Runa, daughter of one of our designers, Margaret. Runa does not look happy here, but after enduring her bath, she becomes the cute dog you see in the next picture!


Runa (old High German for "mystery") cleans up well, huh? Our designer altered the photo with Instagram to make it look old-fashioned. Cool. Runa is a Brussels Griffon.





Here is Rocky, beloved Welsh Springer Spaniel. Production assistant Jen had the pleasure of having Rocky for 12 wonderful years! Sadly, Rocky was recently laid to rest, but Jen and family have great memories to hold onto forever.







PPP designer Eleanor is owned by Paulie and Coco. Paulie is the suave gray tuxedo; he hails originally from California as is evidenced by his laid-back attitude. Coco (Puff) is the plump white and gray kitty. She is a Jersey girl (and might put one in mind of a female version of Chris Christie). Paulie and Coco were brought together at a young age by a former owner who had to give them up because of her allergic boyfriend.  Eleanor arranged to meet to find out about  possible adoption. When she arrived, Paulie jumped on her lap and looked straight at her. That was it. Now she has two of the most loving and funny critters ever!  


This is our Editorial Director Barbara's sweet dog Sophie as a pup. She was a rescue dog from a NYC kill shelter. Barbara located Sophie through and got her from Closter Animal Welfare Society Inc. (CLAWS) in New Jersey. Photo submitted by Barbara as a warm tribute to Sophie, who passed away last week after almost 13 years as chief morale officer of her family. Duties included herding cats (literally), wrestling children, cleaning plates, greeting arrivals, cheering the despondent, empathetic listening, and providing squeaky toy accompaniment to phone calls. 

Barbara's family also includes two tuxedo cats, Ruffio and Henry. They are shown sharing a cat carrier for a trip to the vet for check-ups and shots. Both were adopted from the Stamford Animal Shelter in January. Ruffio is 1-1/2 years old and Henry is 9 or so.






How could you not love these little faces? Andi in Accounting is the proud parent of Coco and Monty. Coco (on the left) is around 4 or 5 years old. She was rescued from a puppy mill in January. She loves to chew on things and follow her "brother" everywhere. Monty (right) is 14 years old and still kicking. Andi adopted Monty when he was 2 months old! Both pups are purebred Cocker Spaniels. Andi reports that they get along great. After Monty's brother Cody passed away a while back, Monty was lonely and Andi and family decided to see about another dog. When Monty spotted Coco, it was love at first sight. He actually grabbed Coco's leash and walked her to the door! Awww!

The Story of Django, aka Sugar Cat (shown above) — Django, owned by Production Director Ginny, is a six-year-old kitty who developed diabetes a year and a half ago. After the heroic efforts of the Katonah Animal Hospital, he was brought back from the brink of death and he is now a happy, almost-healthy house cat. Never far from the food trough, Django must undergo twice-daily injections of insulin, like a human, only in much smaller doses, of course. This ritual involves a body-slam by his owner and a quick fake-out with a treat as the needle goes in. Django still manages to make time for the occasional hunting expedition, and enjoys Internet cat videos, especially the Russian “No-No Cat.” Sorry, ladies, he is a confirmed bachelor, and outside interests keep him very busy. Watch for him practicing his Gangnam Style or break dancing at local charity events.

The Tail of Gus and Xena, Warrior Princess (pictured above). Xena is Django’s litter-mate, but the two could not be less alike. She is petite and ladylike. Older man Gus fell hard for her when she joined the family in 2006. Like her warrior namesake, Xena is not the retiring type and has been known to bring down prey at least as large as she is. Her goal is to bag an elk. Her doting husband's hunting days are behind him, however, and Gus is just as happy to keep the kitty bed warm while his lady brings home the . . . bacon.


The story of Kodi, the Brown Squeezle Dog. Baby Kodi was found wandering the banks of the Ohio River as a pup. A natural charmer, he won Dad’s (Ginny's hubby Jim's) good graces by licking his ear at the rescue center, and was promptly adopted. Always the fastest pooch at the dog park, he corners like a Lamborghini, and can go from zero to 60 in record time. After all that energy’s burned off, Kodi kicks back at home with a tennis ball and begs for belly rubs while catching up with Dad and NASCAR. It may surprise you (it sure surprised us) to learn that after having his DNA tested, he is one quarter dachshund. The rest is anyone’s guess, but all agree he’s a handsome fellow, always ready with a welcoming wag and wet nose.




These two playful pups are owned by our IT guy here at PPP. Maggie and Millie are sisters and were rescued and adopted together from a shelter in Tennessee when they were only eight weeks old. They are now one year, eight months. Who do you think ended up winning the toy battle?



Last but not least is our Production Assistant Carol's cute-as-a-button cat Dusty, soon to be 11 years old. His birthday is on the most romantic day of the year, Valentine's Day. I guess that is why he is so lovable.

There you have it. I really enjoyed doing this post. I got to bond with my co-workers while simply learning the stories of how their pets came into their lives. And if you are considering a pet, please think about all the rescue animals awaiting homes. You won't regret it. We didn't. I think this quote perhaps sums it all up: "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." –Anatole France




This is the latest in our ongoing series profiling Peter Pauper Press associates.

Meet Mary Liporulo, PPP Accounting Czarina. Mary claims to be the oldest Pauper. She has been with the Press for a whopping 20 years! Not many people can say that they have been at the same job for two decades. Mary is a world-class math whiz and has been since well before all the new-fangled computers ("We did not even have an in-house computer system when I started at Peter Pauper"), software programs, "devices," and apps.

Mary enjoys ballroom and line dancing. She loves to travel, "especially cruising . . . It's at the top of my bucket list to cruise around the world on the Queen Mary 2 when I finally retire."  She also mentors students in reading and is an avid bridge player — she is in fact director of the bridge program at her local senior center. And she was recently awarded top honors in a local Golden Olympics bridge competition. "I also won second place in bocce."

Why were you given your name?
Ask my parents.

If you could invite any five people to dinner, whom would you choose?
Warren Buffett, Ronald Reagan, Suze Orman, Franklin Roosevelt, and Judy Garland.

Who are your favorite authors?
Barbara Delinsky and Nora Roberts.

What’s the last thing that made you laugh out loud unexpectedly?
A funny e-mail.

If you could live anyplace else, where would you go?

How do you want to be remembered?
She loved life, and respected individuals.

If you had one superpower, what would it be?
Mind reading.

What do you miss from your childhood?
The feeling of complete freedom when school is out for the summer.

What was the first concert you attended?
Frank Sinatra.

What was the name of your imaginary childhood friend?

What mildly embarrassing song or musical artist do you secretly love?
Barry Manilow.

What is your favorite drink?
Sex on the Beach.




















This is the latest in our ongoing series profiling PPP associates.

Meet Claudine Gandolfi, PPP Sales Manager (and Marketing and Social Media Specialist). Claudine has been a Pauper for more than 17 years. She has been around long enough to see Peter Pauper Press grow from 7 to 36 employees. WOW!

Claudine is super active in her spare time. She is currently working on a screenplay based on a true story involving her grandparents as well as planning a romance novel. Sounds juicy! The author of our popular Diet and Fitness Journal, Claudine is also our office go-to reference for all things involving calories and carbs. Every now and then she even rides her bike to work. (She is so dedicated.)

"Claude" also walks for Making Strides of Westchester, New York, devoted to helping cure breast cancer. She has been dedicated to the cause for several years.   She says her reasons for walking are personal – just like every other walker’s. "We’ve all been affected by breast cancer in some way," she states, "and Making Strides gives us the power to make a difference and fight back." If you would like to donate to this worthy cause, please visit Claudine's fundraising page at:

What was the name of your imaginary childhood friend?

Josie Alouenta. She was my imaginary friend and alter ego at times. I believe she was named Josie after “Josie & The Pussycats” and the "Alouenta" was some sort of childhood selective-hearing-impaired version of the French song “Alouette.”

What mildly embarrassing song or musical artist do you secretly love?

Still love Boy George, Culture Club, and A-ha! (But I’ve been known to listen to Gregorian chants, harpsichord music, and the lute on occasion, too.)

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

There is no bad flavor of ice cream. But I favor strawberry (with the fruit), coconut, cookie dough, and Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.

Why were you given your name?

My parents loved to watch Andy Williams and his wife Claudine Longet during their holiday variety specials. I was named for Claudine Longet. This was before she was charged with shooting her Olympic skier lover in Aspen.

What do you miss from your childhood?

The lack of worry and the abundance of free time. Summer vacation!

Guess what Claudine's favorite movie is!