Ironclad Management Team
Ed Jaeger, Founder & Head of Business Development
Mr. Jaeger founded Ironclad in 1998, thereby creating an entirely new market in technical task-specific performance work gloves. He was the CEO of Ironclad from inception to mid-2009, and led the Company through a public reverse tender offer. He currently serves as our Head of Business Development and has created and/or manages all of the brand partners now associated with our Company, including Snap-on, 5.11 Tactical, Duluth Trading, Realtree Outfitters, and, most recently, Coleman. Mr. Jaeger also serves on the Company’s Board of Directors. He has been Founder, co-Founder and President of a number of successful companies in the consumer products sector over a 30 year period. Mr. Jaeger is also the inventor and co-inventor of many U.S. patents, and has held executive positions in marketing and promotion.
Rhonda Hoffarth, Executive Vice President of Operations, Chief Operating Officer
Ms. Hoffarth joined Ironclad in January 2003 and has served as our Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer since that time. She has over 20 years’ experience in operations and financing with growing consumer product companies. Prior to joining us, Ms. Hoffarth spent nine years with Bell Sports in various roles, including Vice President of Operations for North America, helping the company grow from $45 million to over $250 million. While there, she was responsible for integrating business operations after the merger with American Recreation Company and moving operations from New York to San Jose, CA. Subsequently, Ms. Hoffarth spent two years as the Senior Vice President of Operations for Targus, a $500 million developer of mobile accessories, where she established formalized procedures leading to improved customer fill rates while reducing inventory levels. Similar to the operations at Ironclad, both Bell Sports and Targus sourced their finished products from Asia and have multiple sales channels (e.g. independent shops, regional and national accounts, and big box accounts). Ms. Hoffarth received her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Southern California.
Thomas Kreig, Senior Vice President of Finance, Principal Financial Officer
Since 2002, Mr. Kreig has served as Controller, Senior Vice President of Finance, Principal Financial Officer and Secretary. He has managed the accounting and finance functions from early start-up through the pre-public audit process and eventual public reverse merger. Before joining Ironclad, Mr. Kreig spent 18 years serving as Controller, Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer at companies in several different industries. Prior to Ironclad he served as Controller for In-Flight Network, a joint venture of News Corp. and Rockwell Collins, developers of satellite-based broadband communications for airline passengers. Prior to In-Flight Network, Mr. Kreig served as Vice President of Finance for Network Courier Services, a $40 million, same-day courier service with thirteen operating stations nationwide. From 1983 to 1996, Mr. Kreig served as Controller and Chief Financial Officer for Triple L Distributing Co., a western U.S. distributor of bar supplies and snack foods. During his tenure with Triple L, which grew from $25 million to $40 million, bank lines of credit for $7 million were negotiated; a 126,000 square foot warehouse was purchased and ultimately spun-off into a real estate partnership on behalf of the shareholders. Ultimately the business was sold as an exit strategy for the owners, while the real estate partnership lived on. As Controller and Treasurer for Brentwood Instruments, a medical diagnostic equipment company, he was instrumental in helping to successfully execute an initial public offering. For seven years prior to that, Mr. Kreig was a Manager at Plante & Moran, a large, mid-west CPA firm. He is a certified public accountant and received his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Detroit.
Shawn Norfolk, Vice President of Marketing
Mr. Norfolk joined Ironclad in April 2011, and currently serves as Vice President of Marketing. Under Shawn’s guidance, Ironclad introduced the AGT (Advanced Glove Technology) initiative, successfully developed the Company’s new social media platform and renovated the entire look of the Ironclad brand in product, print and online. Mr. Norfolk came to us with extensive experience in marketing, global marketing, brand management and sales management. He spent nine years with Renthal LTD, a Motorcycle accessories manufacturer based out of Manchester, UK, serving as its global brand manager. During his tenure at Renthal, he grew the $4.5MM brand into a global leader by the time it was sold in 2006 for $33MM. Mr. Norfolk spent the next two years of his career in North Carolina with No Fear, a Southern California based action sports brand. There, he was General Manager of east coast operations, which included opening retail store locations, overseeing the No Fear Energy NASCAR team, as well as sales and marketing for the No Fear line of apparel. Shawn then moved back to California as Director of Marketing for Troy Lee Designs, an action sports company that designs, develops and markets protective apparel for cycling and motocross.
Eric Jaeger, Vice President of Research & Development
Mr. Jaeger joined Ironclad in 2001 as its head of research and development. In this role, he is responsible for the design, development and testing of Ironclad products, development and/or discovery of new materials and the innovative application of new technologies into Ironclad’s gloves. Mr. Jaeger also manages the Company’s intellectual property portfolio, consisting of 67 trademarks and 6 U.S. Patents (with three pending), including coordinating their legal defense. Prior to Ironclad Mr. Jaeger spent fourteen years in the medical device industry as a Senior Research and Development Engineer. Mr. Jaeger served at Symphonix Devices, developing cranially-implanted medical devices that address severe hearing loss. He is the inventor of the first-ever implantable acoustic microphone. While at Guidant/Boston Scientific, Mr. Jaeger designed electromechanical cardiothoracic surgical tools. Mr. Jaeger began his professional career at the Alfred Mann Foundation for Scientific Research, where his work focused on development of an artificial human pancreas. Mr. Jaeger holds 20 U.S. and international patents on glove and implantable medical technology. He graduated with Honors from the University of California Los Angeles in 1990 with a degree in Biomedical Engineering.
Jim Rice, Vice President of Sales
Mr. Rice brings more than 20 years’ experience in sales and account management in branded consumer product environments. Prior to joining Ironclad, Jim’s work centered around developing analytical and collaborative sales and market strategies focusing primarily on retail channel customers. Jim has spent the bulk of his career working closely with strategic clients and key customer segments to develop business by uniquely addressing core user and business needs. He continues this work at Ironclad, where customer experience and satisfaction are the top priority. His background also includes roles at Nike, Carter’s, Joe Boxer, Tommy Hilfiger and Jockey. Jim lives in Santa Monica, CA – but his philosophies of life and work are very much rooted in being just a simple farm boy from Michigan.