Jon Chelesnik didn’t start STAA; this guy did

This week’s holiday got me thinking about someone for whom I’m grateful for his role with STAA.


Before STAA, I was in a business partnership. My partner was a smart, enjoyable individual but his skill set didn’t fit the business model. Yet, his share of the profits was equal to mine.

In the Spring of 2006, I went to lunch with my friend Dan Graves. As we sat in a taco shop in Mission Viejo, CA, Dan congratulated me on the news that my wife and I were expecting our first child. After talking baseball for a bit, Dan asked me how my business was doing. I shared my frustration with him. It was then that he offered a perspective the changed my life. He said it was unfair that I was doing most of the work but giving up half the profits.

“Jon, you are about to start a family,” he said. “Your partnership is taking money away from your son.”

Dan suggested I dissolve the partnership and start my own company.

That afternoon, Dan Graves started STAA. I am forever grateful and have told him so many times. I’ll probably tell him many more.

Dan might have actually started two companies that day. My former partner started a business that better suited his strengths and is doing well.

Happy Thanksgiving, Dan. From both of us.

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