Zero Gravity Marketing has risen above the competition to become a top digital marketing firm in Connecticut, and we credit it to our unique, diverse team. We appreciate every player, and we know that without him or her, we wouldn’t be the successful marketing firm we are today.
With this in mind, we have launched an Employee Spotlight initiative. Our hope is that, as you learn more about each of the talented individuals at our marketing firm, you will gain further insight into why we are so great together.
Today, we are thrilled to introduce Chris Uzzo, CEO & Founder. We have asked him a few questions to provide an insider’s look as to what makes Chris tick. Enjoy!
Chris Uzzo, CEO & Founder
Where are you from?
Born and raised in Branford, CT which is where I met my wife and our COO Annie. I also met Josh Comen in high school although we didn’t really get to know each other well until years later.
How did you choose this career path?
I more or less fell into SEO/PPC. After graduating college, I started working at Rideworks (a ride-shareing brokerage in New Haven). My brother was having success in computer programming. I wanted to go the computer route too, but I was also interested in marketing. Rideworks needed someone to take care of their websites and to do SEO, so it just evolved from there. While at Rideworks, I started my first “company” which at first was basically just me doing little websites and SEO projects to make extra money.
What do you like most about your job?
I like doing strategy work. Seeing how we can dramatically improve results for our clients is rewarding. I like meeting new people (clients, employees, etc.). It is interesting to learn about so many new industries. I enjoy learning new skills and techniques too. The kind of work we do is so interesting to me that I am never looking at the clock waiting for the day to be over. It is usually the opposite.
What is your favorite part of being a member of the ZGM team?
I am proud of what we all have built together at ZGM. I hope it is a place where you feel as though your opinion is respected. I feel like we don’t have egos and we don’t play office politics. We are in a way in charge of our own careers in the sense that if we work hard, we will be rewarded. I truly love everyone who works at ZGM bar none. They are my extended family. Working with friends (family) every day makes it much more enjoyable.
What is the strangest job you’ve ever had?
I worked at a Rebook shoe store one summer before college. I don’t know if that is very strange but… I also worked at Lenny’s in Branford, which is a very long-standing awesome place to eat. I started bussing tables, I waited tables, I worked as a prep cook and also shucked clams at the raw bar. It was fun because I had some friends who worked there too. I am still very friendly with the Colin family who owns the place. They are now also a client.
What is your favorite quote?
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place. And I don’t care how tough you are. It will beat you to your knees and keep you permanently there if you let it”
“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life, but it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done”
“Now if you know what you are worth, go out and get what you are worth, but you gotta be willing to take the hits and not pointing fingers, saying you ain’t where you want to be because of him or her or anybody. Cowards do that, and that ain’t you. You’re better than that”. – Rocky Balboa
No joke I really love this quote. Cheesy right? But, I love it and believe it 100%.
Do you have any pets?
2 dogs. The older (smaller) one is half Jack Russell and half Dachshund. Her name is Georgia. The younger (bigger) one is half English Bulldog and half Hound. Annie found both through pet adoption websites. I am definitely a dog person.
Name one thing on your bucket list.
Annie and I want to travel a lot once the kids are a bit older. We want to go to Spain, Italy, Greece and many other countries. I would also like to check out Japan. I would like to charter a boat to cruise around the Caribbean for a week or so with friends one day.
What would you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
I am very proud of my family including my wife Annie and kids Danny and Alex. Danny is a very talented guitar player. He actually plays electric guitar, bass guitar and has done a bit of keyboard too. He goes to practice a few times a week just down the street from our office in Madison. I am also very proud of Alex, my younger son. He is a great young athlete. I assistant coach his youth football team in Guilford. He is especially good on defense playing linebacker. #dreamteam
From a professional standpoint, my greatest accomplishment is ZGM although I can only take partial credit. I am so happy about how far we’ve come in such a short time. We have one of the largest and most respected teams of marketing professionals in the state. Our client roster is diverse and filled with some really great clients large and small. We bring honesty and transparency where there was a real lack of both. We drive results and push hard and prove ourselves every day. I am proud of the effort that everyone has put in and what we have accomplished. It’s really amazing!
Do you have any hobbies outside of work?
Honestly, not many. Outside of work, I spend most of my time as a dad doing what parents do. Annie does even more than me so I definitely give her credit, but I go to almost every guitar performance and every sporting event the kids participate in. Aside from all that, I like to hang out with friends and family and just relax. Annie and I both have parents and siblings with kids that are local so we spend a lot of time with them. We like to go to concerts too. Last summer we saw Gun’s N Roses in Nashville. That was probably the best concert of my life. That music brings me back to when I was a kid. This summer we will see Chris Stapleton.
What’s your favorite food? Least favorite food?
Favorite: Pizza of course! Any kind will do, but pepperoni is a classic.
Least favorite: I don’t really like salmon, but I am not that particular about food. I like almost everything.
Pick three words to describe yourself.
Strategic, Driven, Caring
New: Chris Stapelton
All Time: Led Zeppelin (Robert Plant)
If you were a Crayola crayon, what color would you be?
How does one answer a question like this… I know I like the colors black, blue and orange. I don’t think that I am similar to any specific color. I don’t believe that anything in life is black or white, so maybe I am grey? I am grasping at straws here…
You’re about to perform in a karaoke bar. What song do you pick?
Piano Man – It’s a good time singalong bar song.
If you could hang out with anyone for a day, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
My grandfather who passed away. His name was Dan Venard. I miss him and would like to have the opportunity to talk to him as an adult now that I am older. Annie and I named our son Danny after him. He was a father of 8 daughters. He has 17 grandchildren. He was a great grandfather to me and to all my cousins. He took us fishing and we had some great times together. I hold him in the highest regard.
When I have free time, there is nobody on earth that I would rather spend time with than my wife Annie (and the kids too of course). She and I get the opportunity to work together which would drive some couples crazy, but we like it. We share every part of our lives together and I wouldn’t have it any other way.