John and Mark X. Cronin Speak at the SHRM National Inclusion Conferenc - John's Crazy Socks

John and Mark X. Cronin Speak at the SHRM National Inclusion Conference

John and Mark X. Cronin were among the featured speakers at the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Inclusion Conference in Austin, Texas. The father and son team, the co-founders of John’s Crazy Socks, spoke on the Together Forward @Work panel on the main stage of the conference.

This session illuminated how we can move from talking about DE&I issues to creating real change. Collis Jones, Vice President for Public Affairs and Strategy at John Deere moderated the panel. Joining the two Cronins were Casey Adams Jones, Communications Lead for Self-Care at Johnson and Johnson, and Mimi Dixon, Director of Brand Activation and Content at Crayola.

Speaking at the SHRM Conference

John and Mark spoke about the origins of John’s Crazy Socks, created when John could not find meaningful work when leaving high school, and their mission to spread happiness. They focused on the company’s commitment to show what people with differing abilities can achieve when given an opportunity. This commitment is infused in every aspect of John’s Crazy Socks form hiring to the awareness products they create to their Giving Back program and their advocacy work.

John Cronin said, “I told the audience that I have Down syndrome and Down syndrome never holds me back. I want companies to see what people like me can achieve.”

Mimi Dixon spoke of Crayola’s development of the World of Colors crayon set to reflect all skin colors and how that inspired a further commitment to inclusion within Crayola. Casey Adams Jones shared how Johnson and Johnson’s development of Band-aids for all skin colors and how that led to more efforts to bring about inclusion in the health care world.  

John and Mark speaking at the Inclusion Conference

Mark told the audience, “We want businesses to know that hiring people with differing abilities is not altruism, it is good business. Those organizations that commit to diversity earn a competitive edge in the marketplace.”  

Mark added, “We are grateful to SHRM for the opportunity to address the issue of inclusion for all, including people of color and people with differing abilities. We are members of SHRM and applaud their commitment to creating a more inclusive world.”

John’s Crazy Socks and SHRM continue to find ways to collaborate given their shared commitment to inclusion and creating diverse workplaces where individuals feel respected and valued and can do their best work. Besides speaking at the Inclusion Conference, John’s Crazy Socks made custom socks for SHRM to give to attendees and John and Mark recorded a video for all conference attendees to see.

About the Society of Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally.

For more information about SHRM, see the 2020 State of the Society address and News About SHRM.

 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 to spread happiness. They spread happiness by offering the socks you can love that let you express yourself, by giving back, by creating jobs for people with differing abilities and spreading happiness.

For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at Please contact John’s Crazy Socks if you are interested in having John and Mark speak at your event.



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