Family run small businesses are the backbone of our economy and are the most effective way of putting spending power back into the hands of Americans. Jon Stoddard, the former CEO of Century Hearing Aids, is an entrepreneurial giant and a great example of the way technological advances have allowed small businesses to disrupt entire industries. Although he has moved on from the business his influence permeates the company culture.
Stoddard was born to an Air Force mechanic and grew up an, “army brat” on Air Force bases around the world. He spent his childhood in transit following his father’s deployment from Arizona to Germany, Turkey, Indiana, and eventually back to Arizona.
After High School, Stoddard joined the Air Force and served four years at Luke Air Force, he was honorably discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant in 1983. He then went on to earn his B.S in Engineering from Northern Arizona University.
After his graduation, Stoddard spent the next 23 years gathering the skills he would need to create, effectively price, and market products. He spent three years as an Account Executive at O’Rourke Communications and learned how to help businesses achieve their advertising goals. He then moved on to become Director of Business Development at Digimation, helping them become the world’s largest 3D plug-in publisher and developer.
The next few years saw Stoddard climbing the rungs of various companies including Turbo Squid, a leader in the distribution and management of 3D and 2D content, and Intuit, a provider of business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. The result of all this hard work was Century Hearing Aids. This venture represents the amalgamation of Stoddard’s experience helping businesses market and distribute their products.
“We did not see how people could afford to spend thousands of dollars on hearing aids so we are building a business that provides tremendous savings to budget-conscious customers,” said Stoddard.
Century Hearing Aids was created to disrupt the hold major international hearing aid manufacturers have on the domestic and international market, while giving Jon the ability to spend more time with his family. Stoddard, with the help of his wife Alisha, is now challenging large companies for market share, while giving Americans a cheaper option for hearing aids.
The company culture Jon has injected into his company is palpable in every aspect of the Century of today. Aaron Wesel, the new Chief Operating Officer of Century, plans to continue in this vein.
In his introductory email after formally assuming control of the company on Nov. 13th, Wesel invited all new customers “into the Century family”.
It was the same line Jon began all his emails to customers with during his time as CEO.
The gesture was a resounding commitment for the future; one echoing the sentiment so deeply imbued into the lifeblood of the company. We’re here for the customer. Our Family.
Wesel announced Century’s partnership with Consumer Affairs in a renewed effort to insure continuity of the customer service that members of the Century family have come to love and depend on.
The future looks bright.
Starky you better watch your back !!!