Death Wish Coffee Company is made up of a growing team of talented, dedicated, and over-caffeinated individuals. We want to take you into our Round Lake headquarters to get to know each member of our team, how they got here, and how much coffee they drink a day.
Tim O'Connor joined Death Wish Coffee earlier this year as the company's first chief financial officer. Originally from the Albany area, he has decades of experience in accounting and finance. Now, he helps each department by providing financial resources and guidance, works to continually improve our processes and business disciplines, and helps in laying out the strategic vision of the company. He's also really good at guessing how many coffee beans are in a bag of Death Wish Coffee (obviously).
Get to know Tim more below.
Talk a little about your background. What appealed to you about working for Death Wish Coffee?
I went to Siena College (a long time ago) and graduated with a degree in accounting. Like most accounting majors, I went into public accounting out of school to become a CPA. I did that for a few years but quickly realized I really wanted to be on other side of the equation. I joined a packaging company as their controller as my first role in the private sector. I was with that company for quite a few years and had the opportunity to branch out and work in all facets of the business — product development, procurement, operations. I always felt to be good in finance you had to really understand the business from the ground up. And no better way to do that than to work in each of those other areas.
The last few years I had been working as the CFO of an entrepreneurial company in the veterinary space. This is where I really started to appreciate the passion of the people in a growing company who were determined to take the company to new heights. And that is what has led me to Death Wish — the chance to work with high-energy people who are passionate about the brand, about the customers, and about being world-class in everything we do.
You’re the first CFO of the company. What does that mean to you, and what are your daily responsibilities?
It is exciting to be the first CFO of Death Wish Coffee. There was a solid infrastructure in place when I got here and a lot of my efforts will be focused on helping to further strengthen that infrastructure to allow us to continue to grow. No two days are the same, which I really like. You truly do learn something new every day. It's a very collaborative environment with a lot of great ideas being exchanged and acted on.
How much coffee do you drink a day?
I like to have a cup of coffee in my hand at almost all times! I like the taste but it's also become somewhat of a habit over the last many years. I drink coffee right up until I go to bed each night — I think I have become immune to caffeine because I still sleep well.
What do you like to do for fun?
I have a 10-year-old daughter so most of my time outside of work is spent with my family. We like doing anything outdoors — swimming, bike riding, basketball, trampolining (I pay for that the next day). I am also a big sports junkie — My teams are the Rams, Texas Rangers, 76ers. There are some good sports rivalries in our office so that keeps things lively each day.
What’s something surprising about you that others may not know?
Despite being your typical frugal accountant (OK, so my wife might say "cheap"), I actually bought a boat last year without ever actually haven driven one. I had a jet ski for a few years and was happy with that but family "pressure" (my wife isn't as cheap as me) got me to buy a boat. I never realized quite how difficult it was to drive one of those things until I crashed into a dock during my first attempt to park it. Let's just say it was a long summer of learning! I find I enjoy the boat most when we are sitting on it having a cold drink while it's safely tied up in the marina.
Meet the rest of our team here.