Rick Konopka

Panel Manager

I try not to take myself too seriously, plan for spontaneity, and always have a soundtrack. These three things have become part of my process for handling whatever life throws me. It's pretty amazing what you can accomplish when you're having fun doing it. You'll find me trusting the process by dancing at my desk, road tripping to a beach, pool, or mountain, or making stupid jokes amongst friends.

How do you describe to other people what you do for a living?

I manage a community of people. I can ask 20,000 people a question in 10 minutes if I want to. If I could ask them anything right now, it would probably be what should I have for lunch.

What's another question you have about the world that you wish you could research?

A lot of things I'm flabbergasted by recently are very New York-specific things. I read about this gym that has classes where you do both painting and interval training. So, for each minute of interval training you do, you can then go paint for a minute. And I just think, "Why would anyone want to do this? What kind of animal is going to paint for a minute while out of breath and trying to recover?" Just take a walk or something to recover—you'll have a much better time. So, I'd like to know who thought of this and who is interested in this incredibly ridiculous concept.

What's one thing you love about working at Bovitz?

I've always really liked the atmosphere. It's super friendly and cordial, but also super professional. Everyone is willing to roll up their sleeves and get dirty and figure out what needs to be done, and no one's going to be sour about having to do it.

Why is being people-first important to you?

I think it comes down to treating people with respect. It's always been how I've approached both our work here and outside life. We'll all get so much more accomplished—and not to mention have a better time while doing it—if we're not concerned with winning an argument out of spite or anger.

Tell me about one of your colleagues.

John is great to work with. He's super knowledgeable about everything in research. It's kind of shocking to me how someone can be that knowledgeable. And he's a super great teacher. He's always willing to put in the time to make sure that I understand what's going on and teach me things that will be beneficial long-term. Our relationship is very collaborative; I think he looks to me for input just as much as I look to him, and that's really nice. He's also just a really interesting person. He thinks his own way.

What's one quality you admire in someone else and wish you had more of?

My girlfriend is super confident in herself, even around new people. I'm kind of more the opposite; it takes me awhile to open up. So, I admire the ability to just be yourself and own it. It doesn't bother me that it takes me longer to open up, but there are certain times when it would be beneficial to own a room.

Tell me about one of your favorite people in the world.

This is cliché, but she really is one of my favorite people. My girlfriend is very strange, but that's also what makes her the most interesting. There so many idiosyncrasies about her that also make her one of the most unique people I've ever met. She is a complete individual and keeps my life interesting. She opens me up to new experiences I wouldn't have put myself in otherwise and I can't get enough of her.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

I would probably go for teleportation. But for very innocuous things. Like, "Oh, I want to have lunch at so-and-so's today, so let's go there." I'm talking a lot about lunch today, I'm realizing. Or I could go to California after work for a few hours because it would still be light out there. Just stupid stuff like that—totally benign and somewhat comical.

What's something that people tend to misunderstand about you?

I think on the surface sometimes it might look or seem like I'm disengaged, but I'm really processing and thinking through my thoughts in my head.

What's one of your favorite habits you have?

My cousin-in-law has always sent postcards to his friends almost monthly and whenever he travels. Around when he joined the family officially I joined his postcard list. Now not only am I sending them out randomly or whenever I travel, I am also receiving them from my two brothers, my sister, and my best friend—all who are also on the same postcard list. I'm working on expanding that list even more, too.

In the Industry: Since 2014

At Bovitz: Since 2014

Education: BS in Marketing/Advertising from Drexel University

His best quality: Optimistic