CDM New York's Chris Palmer on 5 a.m. wake-ups, Reddit, and what he's reading

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Chris Palmer is president of CDM New York, a healthcare advertising agency.

Most distinct aspect of your personal office?
We are in an open plan, something I have grown to love. I sit as close as I can to the nerve center of the agency, our café. It's a great way to feel the energy of the place and our people.

Time spent on the road?
About 50 days per year. My tip for staying sane is Garage Band and Logic Pro X. That and FaceTiming my boy.

Meetings per day?
Six to eight. The hardest part is bringing the same intensity into every part of the day. The only way to master that is to deliberately build in time for yourself.

Commute difficulty on a scale of one to 10
10. I live in Long Island.

Wake up time?
5 a.m., religiously. I wish I could say my first point of contact with the world is a business news feed, but I am an unabashed Redditor, so that's my first stop in the morning. After I get my fix of cat GIFs, I'll head to more substantive material.

If I wasn't working in medical marketing, I'd be
the owner of a record store. It's a hard way to make a buck, but much like this business, I'd be surrounded by the things I love every day.

Tip for getting away from work
Go to places where to engage with your phone would be considered appalling: restaurants, movies, shows, kids' events, or hiking. Sometimes, forced separation is the only way.

Mentor
Michael Schreiber, currently executive creative director at DDB Health, the guy who first gave me a job in this business. He saw something in me and I have been forever grateful. I've always sought his advice and perspective.

Book I'm reading
Barkskins by Annie Proulx. There are a lot of parallels between healthcare marketing and 17th century Canadian land management.

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