It often takes a while to get to know people well enough to decide if you really like them or if they’ll just turn out to be good acquaintances, which is why after meeting Dawn Repola for five minutes, I found myself surprised by the certainty that I’d just met someone that would be a great friend, business partner and personal hero. I remember thinking, ‘This lady is awesome, I like her.’

Well, I wouldn’t be writing this if my first impression had not turned out to be exactly right and then some. Thank you Thomas H. McConnell for introducing us almost exactly four years ago today and what a ride it’s been in that short time.

In that meeting, we quickly began to talk about, and soon after form, a new company with Paul Brunetta, with goals to tackle the ongoing problem of smoking in the US and globally.

In doing so, I got the chance to meet many of the wonderfully warm, and wicked-smart team at Aegis Creative (people like Kendall Kruase, Gail Solod, Anne Morawski, Greg Feldman, Linda Sexton, Susanne Muller and many others) and some of the many, many people that Dawn and Paul know around the world (Lisa Kroon, Sheana Bull, Duane Spivey among many others).

Just last night we had our regular telephonic meeting and, as usual, Dawn was more than organized and made things easy and efficient for us all. That seems to be something she’s always done, from running her business to running a meeting. She has this amazing ability to put people at ease, but still run things like clockwork. Just like every other meeting with Paul, I left the call smarter and thankful that I get to partner in business with this man.

Paul, I’m inspired by how you operate in the world. It’s clear in every conversation we have that your background, education and career experiences make you the intellectual leader in our group, yet you always make things easy to understand and wait patiently for me to catch up with your thinking. I’m grateful I get to learn from you, not just all the science, but the art of sharing what you know in a way that leaves people feeling great about what they’ve just learned.

Dawn and Paul, I know we have more than our fair share of challenges with this business, but whether it takes off as we hope or not, I will be forever grateful that we get to work on this important problem together. My life, and our work at BRATLAB and Habits at Work is much richer for knowing you, and for being held to the high standards of work and clear thinking that you bring to every interaction we have.

Thanks for always being gracious, warm, charming, thoughtful and generous in everything we’ve done together. You are two of my favorite people on the planet.

Much love



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