June 2023 Little Rock
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Max Rodriguez

Max Rodriguez, 29
Senior Vice President
THOR Global Defense Group and Knesek Guns Inc.
Van Buren

Even without any direction, sometimes a man can still find his path. “I’ve been winging it,” Max Rodriguez said. “I never had any specific goals. I figured I would find something I liked and stick with it.”

Rodriguez, a self-described “bored kid on the Internet,” turned his youthful hobby of creating websites into a grown-up job. Rodriguez knew Larry Knesek, founder of THOR and Knesek Guns, through mutual acquaintances, and Knesek hired him in 2009 to create and run his website.

Rodriguez, who attended the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith for one year, had practical experience in that area. His parents had bought him a computer when he was 5 and he soon became an expert. “He was looking for someone to do his website,” Rodriguez said. “He decided to give me a shot. It worked out. I worked my way up.”

Knesek Guns imports and exports weapons systems such as explosives and night vision equipment to various countries and police organizations. THOR is a manufacturing and consulting business. Rodriguez handles THOR’s annual convention in Las Vegas and travels frequently to other countries for sales and support.

“I’ll always be invested with it because I have so much sweat equity,” Rodriguez said. “Some of my best friends are on SEAL teams or consulting in Iraq.”

(This profile has been corrected since its orginal publication to better describe the business done by THOR and Knesek.)

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