What began as a life-threatening illness turned into a company Karen Thieken loves. After nearly losing a terrifying battle against sepsis, she found it wasn’t just enough to survive… she wanted to THRIVE. She took her husband’s advice and channeled her talent for promotional marketing into a business of her own imagining. She honed the marketing skills she’d gained over 17 years and combined her personal love of “swag” to create an utterly unique, totally customer focused entity when she launched Forte Promotional Marketing in 2013. Her company is founded in the belief that there is NO OTHER type of marketing that is as TANGIBLE, THOUGHTFUL AND MEMORABLE as promotional products. They ignite a profound reaction when people receive them – often stimulating all five senses. She challenges her clients to recall a time when they felt truly excited by a billboard or newspaper ad. Karen has personally witnessed dozens and dozens of times when folks absolutely flipped out over a unique promotional product or gift – a true testament to their power. She has even seen clients tear up the first time they see THEIR logo on an awesome item that they use for self-promotion or give to someone as a gift.
As its founder, Forte’s dedication to excellence begins and ends with Karen. She understands that creating the perfect item for a client in terms of price, value and quality means nothing if the order is not delivered ON TIME. That’s why she pushes her team members to deliver their personal best to every client they serve. She treats her team members like family and her clients like old friends. Her passion for her work comes through in everything she does, which has led to Forte’s continued success as a premier full-service advertising specialty company – trusted by countless companies and organizations who won’t hesitate to return with future business and share their positive experiences with others.
From as early as the age 4, all Paul wanted to do was play piano. Since he was too young to start taking lessons, Paul unleashed his creativity by building Lego masterpieces. Since there were only so many works of art he could build with Legos, Paul was able to use his creativity by starting his extremely successful and long music career at the age of 5. Attention to detail, consistency, tenacity, and creativity brings Paul and everyone around him to success.
Favorite Sports Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Guardians, Ohio State Buckeyes, and the Georgia Bulldogs
Favorite Quote: It’s hard to soar like a eagle when you’re surrounded by a flock of turkeys – Bill Winslow (Father in Law)
Favorite Food: A perfectly cooked steak or Chicken Parmesan
Where would I travel to right now: I would travel to Hawaii with my family to relax with a drink while laying on the beautiful beaches
Unknown fact about me: I clucked like a chicken with my wife on the Grand Ole Opry Stage. If interested, I can send you a video.
Funny Childhood Memory: One time I was chased by a Mama Goose while I caught her baby in a fishing net. I never knew I could run that fast.
Favorite Music: Squeeze, U2, Chris Stapleton, Ben Folds, Billy Joel, Elton John, Coldplay, Cory Wong, Chick Corea, Ricky Skaggs, Tower of Power, Hippo Campus, Stevie Wonder. (Too many to list them all)
Favorite Condiment: Mustard
Favorite Promotional Product: Bluetooth Speakers, Umbrella, and any type of kitchen accessory