John and Mark X. Cronin Deliver Keynote Address for the Chesapeake Human Resources Association

John and Mark X. Cronin, the father-son co-founders of John’s Crazy Socks, gave the keynote address at the Chesapeake Human Resources Association’s (CHRA) annual conference. They brought their message of hope and inclusion. 

John and Mark X. Cronin delvier the keynote address

Using their personal experience and gifted storytelling, John and Mark left people laughing, a little misty eyed and, in the end, energized and on their feet cheering. Afterwards, people lined up to take a picture with John. 

“I loved meeting so many good people,” said John. “I loved the way the audience listened and cheered for us.”    

Opening up about their own lives, John and Mark spoke of the possibilities in each of us and in everyone we meet. Using humor and passion, they told the story of how they bootstrapped John's dream of selling funny socks into the world's largest sock store, John's Crazy Socks.

And they spoke about the power of inclusion. More than half their colleagues have a differing ability. They shared how hiring people with differing abilities is not altruism but good business. 

Selfie with the crowd at the keynote address

Speaking to Leaders in Human Resources 

The CHRA is the Baltimore Chapter for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); John and Mark are members of SHRM and frequent speakers at SHRM events. 

Mark said, “It is important to speak to leaders in HR. They are changing the makeup and culture of organizations and making inclusion a reality in so many organizations. We share our experiences which provide encouragement and practical ways in which these leaders can make a difference.” 

Vanesa K., one of the event organizers called the speech “fabulous” and added, “They were both so personal one-on-one before and after the presentation. They are truly genuine people.” 

One attendee told John and Mark, “Thank you so much. I loved your talk. It was by far the best session in the whole conference. In fact, I don’t think I have ever heard a better speech at all the conferences I‘ve attended.” 

John with fans


Keynote and Event Speakers 

John and Mark X. Cronin are frequent speakers at conferences and corporate events. They share their entrepreneurial story of how a young man with Down syndrome together with his father created what is today the world’s largest sock store with a mission to spread happiness. Their speaking engagements bring laughter, tears and inspire people to see what is possible for each of us to achieve. They have spoken in person at events across Canada, the United States, and Mexico and at virtual events around the world. They have spoken at events for Microsoft, EY, Bank of America, the Special Olympics, and the National Down Syndrome Society, among others. 

Their advocacy work has seen the Cronins testify twice before Congress and speak at the United Nations on two occasions. Their work has been featured on many national news shows. They are winners of many awards including the EY Entrepreneurs of the Year. They serve on the CEO Commission for Disability Employment and the Neurodiversity at Work Business Roundtable

John and Mark recently recorded their second TEDx Talk entitled, “Hiring People with People with Differing Abilities is Not Altruism, It Is Good Business.” That Talk is available on YouTube and the TED platform. Their first TEDx Talk entitled Differently Abled People Want to Help Us is also available on YouTube and the TED platform

If you would like John and Mark to speak at your event, please visit the speaker’s pages at our website or contact Maria Lerner at


JOhn with a fan after his keynote address

About John’s Crazy Socks

John’s Crazy Socks was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise with a mission of Spreading Happiness™. With more than 4,000 socks, John’s Crazy Socks is now the world’s largest sock store. More than half their employees have a differing ability, and their Giving Back program has raised over $750,000 for charity partners like the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Autism Society of America. Most of all, they are Spreading Happiness™. 

For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account, TikTok or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at