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For Catalina chief, the ivory keys are still waiting

By MARK ALBRIGHT

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 30, 2001


Like most tech companies, the break rooms at Catalina Marketing Corp. are loaded with the latest office toys for computer geeks.

But along with the foosball game, dart board, pool and pingpong tables and an outdoor basketball court, Catalina's new headquarters in St. Petersburg has an unusual employee perk:

A baby grand piano.

Tucked behind the potted palms in a corner of a conference room employees call the Piano Room, the shiny black instrument sits among a grouping of leather living room furniture with a commanding view of Tampa Bay.

Catalina chose the diversions, including the piano, from suggestions solicited from employees. It no doubt helped that chairman and chief executive Dan Granger, who as a teen considered becoming a professional musician, is an accomplished pianist. As a college student, Granger acquired a grand piano for his first apartment before getting living room furniture.

Several Catalina employees have tickled the ivories on the headquarters piano, usually on weekends. Granger has not been one of them.

"He's never touched it," said Laura Smythe, Granger's administrative assistant. "But I'm still working on it."

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