Our Star Thrower Story

In the beginning...

Like most new companies, our journey started with a seed: to develop and produce training programs that engage both the heart and mind.

Founded in 1996 by Joel Suzuki and Todd Adams, Star Thrower Distribution began in the heart of downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. Our building was originally a convent where nuns taught music to children. It felt like an appropriate beginning for us; a building filled with decades of teaching... of music... of caring.

As of November 1, 2014, after 18 years, Star Thrower Distribution has moved across the river from Saint Paul to Minneapolis. We are now in a 100 year old building that was once a grocery store. It was the neighborhood gathering place; where people came together, purchased essentials, and heard the latest news.

The history of the space felt right for our new home. We too, are a gathering place, but for organizational learning. 

Joel Suzuki was an educator. In fact, he was the first male kindergarten teacher in the state of Minnesota. He had a passion for teaching and understanding how children learn. As a consultant, he shared those insights with teachers all over the country.

At Star Thrower, we believe what is true for a child is also true for adults. To learn a concept, you must become engaged, you must remember it, and you must understand what it means to you. How we learn is sequential; you must go through the process above before you can apply it. This is why you will find every Star Thrower program filled with memorable stories, reinforcement of ideas, and calls to action.

While our goals regarding content have remained unchanged, the methods of delivery have changed dramatically.

Originally, our programs were created and licensed almost exclusively on VHS. The licensing was simple: group training, single monitor, perpetual license.

Today, everything has changed. DVDs, digital delivery, training on-demand… the licensing options for delivering quality content are constantly evolving & expanding. Thanks to technology, we now offer amazing flexibility as to how, when, and where to train. Whatever you can envision, we can help.


In 2009, we lost Joel Suzuki to cancer, but his spirit remains in everything we do. Todd Adams continues that passion for content, pushing the boundaries regarding the types of programs we release, and the products we will be offering in the years to come.

As you explore our offerings, remember that first and foremost, learning is about instilling passion; helping others believe they can become something greater than they were before.

Utor iter itineris (Enjoy the journey)!


Today

Star Thrower Distribution, in name and philosophy, was derived from The Star Thrower Story by Joel Barker, which reminds people that they can make a difference in the world.

Star Thrower is passionate about creating engaging training programs with superior production quality and useful support materials. We also offer a rich array of training resources including: webinars, keynote speakers, e-books, and personal development tools to help you and your organization grow.

Since 1996, Star Thrower has created programs that develop people's ability to think rather than react. Our programs help institute real change; individual change that can make a fundamental difference in the way an organization behaves.


The Future

Visions are alive. They breathe vitality into organizations, and they give direction. We think of a vision as a beacon out beyond the water that says “this is where you want to be.”

Visions evolve. They celebrate the best of what you are, with the potential of what can be.

Visions beg action. They make you want to go out and change the world.

As Star Thrower and the market have evolved, so has our vision.

The Great Recession impacted our little niche in the training industry; but these challenges have created new opportunities. It allowed us to step back from our past success and really explore what we wanted to be. And, to discover our new vision:

To be the resource for organizational learners.


Have fun as you explore the new site. We have many new offerings and valuable tools geared to help you and those in your organization begin meaningful conversations.

We look forward to being your resource for learning.