ASU alumnus publishes book about the power of meeting new people

Zachary Hall has sold 4,500 copies since late July

One day, Zachary Hall started writing in a journal about his experiences meeting new people while traveling with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Now, he has a book called "Don’t Sleep on Planes," all about networking. 

Zachary Hall, an Arizona State University alumnus of 2009, now works for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the game entertainment department. His job helps connect the baseball players to community affairs and educational programs. 

His book released at the end of July, and he has sold around 4,500 copies so far.

“'Don’t Sleep on Planes' is about the power of a stranger and the importance of networking,” he said. 

Hall said if people really want to be successful, they should identify their problems and do whatever they can to solve it. People cannot just be card collectors, he said. 

“The more people you know, the more people you can help in your life,” he said. “Our mission is to succeed helping the people we can, no matter what it is you do.”

On Sept. 30, Hall is scheduled to speak at ASU’s L.E.A.D conference at the Memorial Union. The conference provides students with the knowledge to lead organizations or communities. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Zachary Hall grew up in the Valley and went to community college at Phoenix College before becoming a Sun Devil. Hall said he had wanted to be a Sun Devil since he was a kid going on field trips to visit ASU.

After community college, Hall was accepted into ASU’s Morrison School of Agribusiness, which is located at ASU’s Polytechnic campus. 

“Going from community college to Polytech was actually a blessing in disguise,” Hall said. “It was like community college all over again.”

Hall said the Polytechnic campus connected him with “career-based individuals” and “community leaders.”

He also said the first step to succeeding is action.

“If you’re going to write a book, start writing,” he said. “If you want to lose weight, buy workout shorts, so you are at least doing something toward that goal.”

Hall said he wouldn’t have met his fiancé, Meryl Griesedieck, if it weren’t for networking. 

Meryl Griesedieck, a content manager at Valley of the Sun United Way, met Hall during a photo shoot for an ending hunger campaign with the Arizona Diamondbacks five years ago.

“The story of how we met is just a perfect example and indication that he really lives what he preaches in his book, 'Don’t Sleep on Planes',” she said.

When they met, Hall was the employee campaign manager, the person responsible for raising money for United Way on behalf of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Griesedieck said usually the employee campaign manager was an older, more seasoned employee.

“So when he walks in, I was like ‘Can I help you? Are you lost?’” she said. “I immediately didn’t think that he was who he needed to be.”

Griesedieck said that while he was waiting for his photo to be taken, they had started to talk before she got pulled away by a coworker.

Griesedieck said she didn’t see him again that day, but he left his card at the front desk, insisting that she called him.

“I just knew the second I met him, he was this ball of energy,” she said. 

She said Hall was extremely supportive when her father got sick, even when her parents had to move in with her. 

“Usually, that would scare a significant other off if they just started dating,” Griesedieck said. 

Griesedieck said that if Hall didn’t practice the ideas in his book, they never would have met.

“He never would have found his future wife,” she said.

Their wedding is scheduled for the first week of December.

Michael Spangenberg, co-founder of State Forty Eight, met Hall through a mutual friend nearly three years ago. 

Spangenberg said he doesn’t have much time to read books, but he read Hall’s book on the first day.

“I think it’s a great book that everyone can relate to,” he said. “It motivates others to be like ‘Oh, I really need to step it up.’”

Spangenberg said they have a friendly competition that motivates each other to work harder at what they do.

“It’s always incredible to be around likeminded people,” he said. “He is motivated like no other, so am I. It’s rare nowadays to find friends with that same drive and work ethic.”


Reach the reporter at anbuechl@asu.edu or follow @alexa_buechler on Twitter.

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