The Person Behind the Voice – Larry Warrington

By Larry Warrington

Larry racing his mountain bike.

I don’t have much direct contact with our customers at Red Wing Software, but I like to think that what I do has a big impact on your experience with us. My official title is Manager of Information Systems. That’s a fancy way of saying it’s my job to make sure everyone here has the hardware, software and information resources to do their job as effectively and efficiently as possible. I try to ensure your experience with Red Wing Software feels personable, like you are working with a small company, but also give the impression we are also efficient and professional like a big company.

When I am not at work, I like to spend time outside, preferably on a bike. My son and I ride and race bikes as often as we can and I am involved in hosting several bike races every year here in town. We travel around the state in the summer to ride in as many bike races as possible. For me, biking is not only a fun way to get exercise, it also a great way to unwind after a day at work. It’s also a good excuse to get out into the woods or find some winding country road. The city of Red Wing has some of the best biking available in the upper Midwest and I try to take full advantage of it.

I have been directly or indirectly part of Red Wing Software since I was 10. My father, Lyle, was one of the original founders of Red Wing Business Systems, which is one of several companies that have joined forces over the years to become Red Wing Software. Being involved in the early years at a small company can be much more than a full time job, it’s a part of your entire life. I remember once, on a family trip to my grandma’s house, stopping off at a customer’s house so my dad could help with a problem that couldn’t be solved over the phone. While the support department doesn’t offer house calls anymore, I like to think we still go above and beyond to help our customers, when needed. I spent some of my youth after school putting product manuals together or duplicating diskettes or any other odd job that needed to be done.

When I left home for college, I never thought of coming back and making a career at Red Wing Software, but life takes some funny paths at times. Later, when the opportunity to come to work at Red Wing Software in the support department was presented, I took it. Red Wing Software has “grown up” since the days of the Radio Shack TRS-80 computers and hand-collated, 3-ring manuals that I remember as a kid, but it’s still a company that feels like family.

The Person Behind the Voice – Cori and Ryan Palmer

Cori and Ryan with their son Liam

By Stephanie Elsen

Many of you may know Cori; she is one of our support technicians as well as the voice on many of our How2 Videos. What you may not know is her husband Ryan also works at Red Wing Software. Ryan is our Graphic Designer. Whether it’s a brochure, advertising, or our website, Ryan has a hand in designing or producing it.

This past November, they welcomed a brand new baby boy; Liam. Unfortunately, he was born with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (basically a hole in his diaphragm). Thankfully, after surgery and sometime in the hospital, Liam has made a complete recovery. After a bumpy start, Cori and Ryan are now home with Liam, adjusting to being first time parents. We are all so thankful Liam is doing great and wish them the best!

The Person Behind The Voice – Aaron Young

My name is Aaron Young and my business card says that I’m a Senior Programmer Analyst; but I think it should say “I get paid to write code… AND I LOVE IT!”

I'm from Bristol, England and I moved to the U.S. in 1998 after meeting my then soon-to-be wife, Debra, online.

I've had a passion for programming since I was 8 years old when my parents bought me a Commodore 16 for Christmas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_16); Little did any of us know, they were putting me on a path that would shape the rest of my life...

I quickly got bored with the games that came with the C16 (on cassette tapes - remember those?) and I decided I wanted to write my own stuff. I bought every magazine I could find looking for examples of code that I could spend hours typing into my trusty 16KB behemoth to make wondrous things happen.

I remember my first ever complete program; I was 9 years old and it was the lyrics to "Jingle Bells" scrolling across the 13” TV screen (no monitors!) with custom-made candy canes and stocking characters to the festive 8-bit sound of Christmas music - I was hooked.

I went through a variety of hardware growing up; a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128 + 2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX_Spectrum#ZX_Spectrum_128) and a Commodore 64 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_64).

While in high-school I got an Amiga 500 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amiga_500 ), my first power-house (it had a 3.5” Floppy Disk Drive!) and I learnt AMOS, a basic-like procedural programming language. I wrote many programs; fruit machines, a scrabble game (with A.I.), arcade-style shooters, you name it and I had created a version of it!

When High-school was ending I had to make a decision about college and my future; would I pursue Computer Science or my other passion; Art & Graphic Design?

Up to that point, programming had been a hobby; there didn't appear to be a huge future in it. I hadn’t seen a PC as we know them today and they certainly weren’t common place.

So, I decided to pursue Art...

My first day of college, I attended my introduction art class and... I hated it.

It was a disaster, I didn't like the professor (and she didn’t like me), I was unprepared and I felt out of place; at the end of the day, in a snap gut decision; I decided to change from Art & Design to Computer Science and the rest, as they say, is history!

The Person Behind The Voice – Jon Isackson

Red Wing Software Product Manager / Support Services Manager

Jon Isackson is Red Wing Software’s Product Manager and uses his more than 31 years of experience to help shape the products that are produced for our customers. Then, in his role as Support Services Manager he leads a team of dedicated professionals in making sure that our customers understand how to effectively use those products. Many of you may have spoken with Jon during our very busy season, as he was on the phone helping with the large volume of customer calls, and spent most Saturday mornings doing research on any payroll problems that needed to be solved in order to get our customers up and running.

Jon started with Red Wing Software as a programmer in 1981, then splitting his time between development of the software and support of the customers who used the software. As Red Wing Software grew, he advanced from being the sole developer to heading up the entire development team. After the merger with Red Wing Software, Champion Business Systems and FMS Harvest in 2000, Jon moved from development to become Product Manager and Support Manager.

Having been here since Red Wing Software’s early years, Jon helped form the company Red Wing Software is today, from the special care we give to our customers, to the use of customer comments in shaping the development of our products.

Jon stays young by spending time with his granddaughter Kathryn, and enjoys the Minnesota summer by spending time on the local golf courses.

The Person Behind the Voice - Stephanie Elsen

by Stephanie Elsen

You may have seen my name before on Red Wing Software’s company blog, Facebook page, or elsewhere. I handle the Web marketing at Red Wing Software; I also answer the phones on occasion. I have been at Red Wing Software for about 8 years. It is a wonderful place to work, and frankly I love it here. By day, you will find me writing articles, Web copy, blog posts, and talking to customers now and then too. But in my spare time, I have a passion for the wonderful sport of hockey. And my 13 year old son, Luke, is my favorite player.

I know it’s a little overdone to be a Minnesotan and love hockey. But every single hockey game is so full of action and excitement. I try not to miss any of my son’s games or tournaments, and they fill nearly every weekend (and some week nights) from October to March.

Since my son was little, I’ve tried my best to play hockey along with him, shooting on each other in the basement or driveway. One time I even planned a ‘parents vs. kids’ tournament. And I fell and broke my ankle before the game even started. (I never said I was a good player!) But I still love the game and even make it to as many Minnesota Wild games as I can each season.

Stephanie and Luke, Tubing in Hudson, Wisconsin