In 1996, e-commerce pioneer Dan Thralow took a chance and moved his small chain of retail sunglass stores online. It was a tipping point that helped Thralow Inc. grow into an internet powerhouse, holding over 30 niche retail sites that became the global leaders in their categories. Thralow Inc. earned Inc. 500® status as one of the nation’s fastest-growing companies three times, was an Entrepreneur Hot 100® two times, and was awarded the Minnesota Tekne for technology leadership in 2004. By the time Thralow sold the company in 2006, it had a combined sales volume of over $30,000,000 per year. Not bad for a guy who used to hawk RayBans out of a mall kiosk.
Dan spends most of the year in Florida with his wife and two children, escaping the snowy weather of his native northland and getting the most possible use out of his prized peepers. He enjoys running, chess, and speaking to groups about entrepreneurship.
Raised on a farm in Central Minnesota, Jon Thralow learned the value of hard work and honesty early. After finishing his degree in engineering, he joined his brother’s business, putting his knowledge of technology and statistics to work as director of marketing and technology for Thralow Inc.
Jon was responsible for building and marketing the family of websites that propelled Thralow Inc. to the top of the technological revolution. Their track record of website stability was the buzz of the open source community, and strategic, statistics-based marketing got Thralow Inc. to a combined sales volume of $30,000,000 per year before the company was sold in 2006.
Jon lives in rural Wisconsin, and loves getting outside and enjoying all the benefits of country living with his wife and four children.
Jenny Armstrong is a professional writer who has written for a wide variety of national, regional and online publications, including P31 Woman, Radiant, and the Utne Award-winning Geez Magazine. Her combination of business experience, copywriting know-how and actual saleable writing skills make her a stand-out in an industry dominated by marketers trying to write, and writers trying to market. She uses the principles of neurolinguistics and sales psychology to create compelling promotional copy, without sacrificing the quality of the text.
Jenny lives in Wisconsin with her husband and four little boys, trying to stay warm and ward off carpal tunnel. She loves reading, consuming fair trade chocolate, and squeezing in writing assignments for her favorite magazines—preferably all at the same time.
Shane is a web developer with a vast array of skills in his tool box. He graduated from The Ohio State University, and has since amassed skills in nearly every area of IT: programming, system administration, database development, and a lot of other things that make most people’s eyes glaze over, but make his light up. He has built numerous websites from large to small and is well versed in all things interweb.
But lest you think he’s a total computer geek, Shane also enjoys camping, hiking, canoeing and fishing with his family in Northern Minnesota. As an Eagle Scout and father of three boys, he is very active with the local Boy Scout Pack and Troop.