Profiles PriveCo’s Tom Nardone

DETROIT — In a commentary for’s MoneyBox column, Mark Joseph Stern profiles PriveCo President Tom Nardone as a “21-century American hero.”

Set against the backdrop of the decaying city of Detroit, the article applauds Nardone’s ability to overcome obstacles while giving back to the community.

Stern writes, “As a rare feel-good success story out of Detroit, Nardone is an anomaly, but his roundabout journey to entrepreneurial success — from Motor City engineer to Internet 1.0 startup founder to fluke-ish beneficiary of the Great Recession to unlikely urban philanthropist — is also a sort of microcosm of the last 20 years of American economic trends.”

Stern covers Nardone’s professional history and current ventures — PriveCo, in particular — during which Nardone opens up about the “dissonance between the nature of his business and his family life.”

“I do what I do to earn a living so I can raise my kids the right way,” Nardone says.

With the city of Detroit two weeks away from filing for bankruptcy, the article focuses on Nardone’s adult business’ contribution to the community. Every Wednesday afternoon, Nardone’s “Mower Gang” of volunteers on lawn tractors mow and restore the city’s abandoned parks.

“Nardone clearly thrills in being a tinkerer, a problem-solver. To him, the paucity of good sex toys — and reliable sexy toy information—was a problem that needed solving. The same is true of his Mower Gang: Detroit had a problem, and Nardone knew how to solve it.”

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