Vice President Design & Development | Gregory
John moved from the East to the West in 2002 to join Gregory as product designer. He mentored under Wayne Gregory to learn the cut-and-sew business, helped the company win multiple design awards and learned the operational realities of what it takes to build high-quality products both domestically and abroad when he became responsible for global sourcing and development. Through multiple ownership structures, John was fortunate to find himself at the center of the operational and P&L fundamentals that drive a business, leading him to his blended responsibilities.
EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BS, Industrial Design, Georgia Tech; Executive Leadership Certificate, Westminster College
MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Focus on making the company you work for and the people around you successful, and you will achieve more than you can imagine.
BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Lead from the center, not the top. And when you find yourself there, delegate. To do this well accept that everything will not be done the way you would do it, but let trusted employees find their own path and learn by both failure and success.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Keeping Gregory true to its mission, globally vibrant and steadily growing.
BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Staying loyal. I’m most satisfied when I am building something. I’m very proud of the discipline and the perseverance I have had to help build Gregory into the company it is today.
WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My Family. I have been lucky enough to mentor under and learn from a very diverse and highly accomplished group of leaders, but when asked this question, I can’t help but lean toward my roots. My mother taught me gratitude and compassion, my father taught me the power of consistency and common sense, my sister’s life inspires and impresses me everyday and my brother is my rock in more ways than I can count.
WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: Happy and fulfilled employees and friends that have built great lives for themselves and their families. If I can claim some small part in that by helping Gregory and its employees thrive, I’ll continue to sleep well every night.
BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Gratitude for the small and simple things in life, particularly every time I find myself in the outdoors or with my friends and family. This perspective provides me a great deal of happiness, optimism and calmness.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN TWO WORDS: Pragmatic Optimist