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April 02, 2019

John and Mark Cronin, Co-Founders of John’s Crazy Socks, Complete Speaking Tour of Canada with the U.S. State Department

John Cronin and his partner and father, Mark X. Cronin, co-founders of John's Crazy Socks, completed a week-long tour of Canada where they spoke on inclusion and entrepreneurship. The tour was arranged by the U.S. State Department as part of the Department’s U.S. Speaker’s Program. Their trip took them to Ottawa and Vancouver where they spoke with students, business owners, advocates, social service leaders and entrepreneurs.

John, a born entrepreneur who has Down syndrome, said, “I was so excited to share our experience in showing what people with differing abilities can do.”

The father and son team spoke to groups of entrepreneurs at Carleton University and the Hub in downtown Ottawa. And they met with individuals with differing abilities participating in a program at Algonquin University. They also met with several groups working with and supporting people with Down syndrome.  Since John is a Special Olympic athlete, they met with the Special Olympics of British Columbia and discussed how the Special Olympics prepares athletes for the workplace. John and Mark wrapped up their tour by serving as guest judges at Simon Fraser University’s Opportunity Fest, which showcased student innovators and entrepreneurs.

At the conclusion of their tour, U.S. Counsel General Katherine S. Dhanani presented John and Mark with Canadian-American flag pins to thank them for their work.

Brandon Lambert of the U.S. State Department said, “We’re privileged to send two fine Americans on our behalf.  You represent what’s good about us as a people and nation.” Mr. Lambert recruited John and Mark for the program after hearing them testify before Congress on hiring people with differing abilities.

Mark X. Cronin said, “We were fortunate to share our experience building a social enterprise, an organization with both a social and a business mission, and to demonstrate how working with people with differing abilities has helped us succeed as a business.”

 

About the State Department’s Speaker’s Bureau

The U.S. Speaker Program recruits dynamic American experts to engage international audiences on topics of strategic importance to the United States. Programs are conducted in person and through virtual engagement platforms. Key themes include entrepreneurship and innovation, countering violent extremism, global security, environmental diplomacy, combatting gender-based violence, civil society, education, 21st century media, and youth empowerment. The office conducts approximately 650 speaker programs annually.

For more information about the State Department’s speaker’s Bureau, contact IIP-Expertmanagement@state.gov.

 

About John’s Crazy Socks

John’s Crazy Socks is a father-son venture inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks, or what he calls his “crazy socks.” We're on a mission to spread happiness.

John’s Crazy Socks is a social enterprise with both a social mission and a business mission.  The company is built on four pillars:

 

  • Inspiration and Hope: Showing what is possible when you give a person a chance. We hire people with differing abilities, share videos to show what people can do, host school tours and school groups that come for work experience. We want the world to see what people with differing abilities can do. John’s Crazy Socks currently has 39 employees, 23 of whom have a differing ability.

 

  • Giving Back: We donate 5 percent of our earnings to the Special Olympics and raise money through our Sock of the Month Club and charity and awareness socks for our charity partners like Autism Speaks, the Autism Society of America, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Williams Syndrome Association. We have raised over $280,000 for our charity partners and publish a monthly Giving Back Report.

 

  • Socks You Can Love: We have over 2,300 different socks plus a Sock of the Month Club, gift boxes and gift bags. And we match the great socks with great service: we do same day shipping so most of our customers receive their socks within two days of ordering.

 

  • Making It Personal: Every package gets a thank you note from John and some candy.

 

Please see our website for more information about our openings. For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, please visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or email us at service@johnscrazysocks.com.

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