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:
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 email@example.com.