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Marketing executive finds joy in helping businesses
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Photo: Todd Mizener
Chris Glass, Terrostar VP of Business Development
BETTENDORF - With an eager expression and quick smile, Chris Glass is so friendly it's readily apparent that helping people with business problems would suit him.

The Rockford-area native took a job in retail sales for U.S. Cellular after earning a business degree from Western Illinois University-Quad Cities. New phone models came out every three months and there were many night and weekend hours, but Mr. Glass said he was young and "dealing with it."

After two years, he learned of a job opening at Terrostar Interactive Media and called company president Tom Terronez, who said he was looking for someone to be the face of the company and handle client relationships.

Mr. Glass submitted his resume and waited through a five-month selection process that included sales and personality tests. Mr. Glass, now 27, started with Terrostar in January 2011. His title is growth executive.

"I couldn't tell you a darn thing about a website other than what I thought looks good or what I thought looks bad," he said. "We have such a strong team here, within a couple weeks, looking back, I just can't believe what I learned."

He said when he was young, he liked to "monkey around" with the family's first computer and spent "hours" on the phone with tech support so he could play his computer games.

Mr. Glass said he loves the experiences and people involved in his current job.

"You might be talking with a small local business marketing person one day and the CEO of a Fortune 500 company the next," he said. "I really enjoy doing what I do. I enjoy volunteering and sharing my knowledge with local nonprofits."

Mr. Glass is a board member for WQPT public television and Bettendorf Rotary (chairman of the district technology committee for Rotary International District 6000); on the advisory committee for Upper Iowa University; marketing committee for Family Resources; membership committee for the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce; marketing committee for the Greater Quad-City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and is a member of the American Association of Sales Professionals and National Association of Sales Professionals.

In addition to web design, Terrostar offers total marketing strategy services. "For some firms, we essentially are their marketing department," Mr. Glass said.

Terrostar won six awards for website design in the last half of 2013. After one award, Mr. Glass was invited to join the Interactive Media Council, a global organization of 50 marketing executives, to judge award competitions.

"I've been with them a few months. I just sometimes wonder how I have time for life, but I really enjoy doing what I do," said Mr. Glass. He and his wife, Kristin, are expecting their first child in April.

England-based Socialnomics.com, one of the top five social media sites for information, saw his article for Terrostar's blog and invited him to be a contributing writer. He wrote an article reviewing the new LinkedIn sales navigator that prompted LinkedIn executives to thank him.

"As you can tell, I've immersed myself in the whole interactive media community," Mr. Glass said.

Another social media service offered by Terrostar is search engine optimization, which he said organizes searches to improve a website's visibility.

"There are a lot of companies not doing search engine optimization now," Mr. Glass said. "There's tons of growth available."

He said he loves the Terrostar environment. In 2011, the firm was recognized as the best place to work in the Quad-Cities by the Network of Young Professionals of the Quad Cities. The following year, the firm was named Hispanic Small Business of the Year by the Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

He credits company president Tom Terronez. "Tom's really flexible. If something happens, he's a very family-oriented guy, versus in a bigger corporation where things aren't quite like that," Mr. Glass said.

"We're friends here, really friendly and very close. Even though we might not always agree, at the end of the day, everybody here is still friends and nobody has any ill feelings."

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