Entrepreneur with Down Syndrome: Teamwork, acceptance creates more effective workplace

BRODHEADSVILLE, Pa. - An entrepreneur with Down Syndrome shared his success story to a group of nearly 400 members of the Pleasant Valley School district staff Tuesday morning.

John Cronin, and his father, Mark, visited Pleasant Valley High school to talk about strategies for creating happier and more effective work environments.The strategies are based on their five-point plan for employee engagement.

John, who has Down Syndrome, and his father founded John's Crazy Socks in 2017. The company produces $5.5 million in revenue, sells 2,300 varieties of socks and receives more than 20,000 online reviews.

More than half of its employees have differing disabilities. The company donates five percent of its earnings to the Special Olympics and other partners that include the National Down Syndrome Society, Autism Speaks, the Autism Society of America, and the Williams Syndrome Association.

The company has raised more than $300,000 for these partners as of August 2019.

John and Mark talked about the importance of organizational culture that is focused on inclusion. They talked about how the principle has created motivated employees and how the approach can be applied in any type of business environment.

They also said creativity, perseverance, collaboration, teamwork and acceptance can establish a more effective, efficient workplace.

John and Mark delivered to the school district customized John's Crazy Socks bearing its mascot and logo that it will be selling this year as a fundraiser.

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