Project Manager + Copywriter

Cole Zelznak

Started: 2020 Hometown: Tallahassee, FL

Cole Zelznak

If you see a bird—any bird—and wonder what it is, Cole likely has the answer. His curiosity keeps him moving through the pages of his field guide or a thinkpiece on the latest-and-greatest design trends. With an eye for detail and a fanatic devotion to expunging typos, he’s a natural addition to the Taproot team.

Though dedicated to his career, Cole is happiest when he’s lost in the woods. Whether it’s the slope forests of North Florida, Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula or the island mangroves at Cayo Costa State Park, Cole feels most at home in the wilds of nature.

As Taproot’s project manager and copywriter, he knows that writing well is endlessly challenging and always invigorating (just like becoming un-lost in the woods). Cole keeps his Taproot colleagues on the right path and stays equipped with bug-spray, snacks and a map to lead the way.

If a project involves sentences on paper, Cole is in. To write an academic thesis, he learned some humongous words; at a news magazine, he’d cover anything that would make the front page; and to make educational exhibits for state parks, he turned learning about bog plants and historic barges into a total thrill-ride.

Cole studied history at New College of Florida, because—as if it weren’t obvious—historians get to learn about anything and everything that ever happened. For him, that meant days poring over 19th-century bicycling magazines and scanning dusty old vitamin ads. (To each their own.)

Tallahassee is his hometown, and Cole is doing everything he can to help it keep getting better. On evenings and off days, he’s a pro-bono politico volunteering for local campaigns. He’s mentored middle-schoolers, managed a bicycle repair co-op and scouted sites for water sampling with Apalachicola Riverkeeper.

Cole is grateful to his parents for raising him here because, even after two decades, exploring the oak-lined streets and trails is still rewarding. When he finally makes it out of the woods, Cole likes to read books by Flannery O’Connor and Joan Didion, lift weights, photograph bugs, shoot targets, hike some more, and after that, always check for ticks.

The Dirt

  • Favorite Smell: Old books
  • Biggest pet peeve: The internet
  • Animals I've fought: A large raccoon in Arkansas
  • Greatest personal achievement: Rode a bike across America
  • Most pointless personal achievement: 10th rewatch of "Frasier"
  • Nickname: Cole-blooded
  • Favorite drink: Water

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