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IRR Industry Loses a Pioneer: Jon B. Hanson, Replink Co-Founder

Jon Brewer HansonJon Hanson with his wife Mary built the Replink System that remains the standard for managing incentive products in the IRR (Incentive, Rewards, and Recognition) market. His work lives on in the every-day lives of leading manufacturers, their incentive representatives and their customers around the US, and in everyone who knew him in the industry.
By Bruce Bolger
Jon Brewer Hanson of Ham Lake MN passed away from West Nile Virus on Aug. 28 at the age of 83, surrounded by Mary, his loving wife of 38 years, and his four children.To his family and friends and to everyone who knew him in the incentive industry, his sense of humor and laughter were infectious.
As reported in his obituary, and known by all who knew him, “His goal in life was to put a smile on the face of every person he encountered.” A native of Minnesota, he was a ski instructor, radio personality and advertising agency in Billings MT and Denver for many years before returning to Minnesota where he met Mary. He joined Lakewood Publications, where “he became fascinated with the reward and recognition industry. He and Mary founded Replink in 1993 and spent the next three decades dedicating his many talents to what he believed would make the industry more efficient and effective, despite the many challenges he faced. His accomplishments live on almost every working day in some office across America.
No obituary can do justice to the incredible amount of effort and commitment that was required to rally the incentive brands and representatives to support a standardized means of exchanging and managing information that today would seem routine but in the 1990s was almost revolutionary. The RepLink System™ remains the industry standard for bringing up-to-date incentive products to the marketplace.
RepLink has since undergone major upgrades to accommodate changes in the marketplace and is now in version 8.0 under the management of Mary Hanson, Dave Boodey, and Kate Fabiente.
The company says the online software service is used daily by virtually every incentive rep and the database includes products from nearly all major suppliers, with a product database containing approximately 60,000 items representing 1800 plus brands.
Jon Hanson is survived by Mary and children Robin Hanson (Jan), their children Ian, Andrew, Eric, and Jenny; Christy Hanson-Bush (Dennis), their children Brooklyn, Joshua and Olivia; Trevor, his children Dorothy, Molly and Connor; and Katherine Fabienke (Joe) and their children Lily, Grace, and Avery.
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