John and Mark X. Cronin Speak on How a Purpose-Driven Business Leads to an Engaged Workforce

John and Mark X. Cronin recently brought their message of happiness and hope in a talk entitled “Creating an Engaged Workplace with a Purpose Drive Business.” They gave their talk to a packed room at the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Conference on Long Island. 

SHRM-Long Island Executive Director Elizabeth Saitta said of their presentation, “Thank you for all the time and energy you put into your presentation…The buzz is still happening through social media, email and phone messages.” 

John and Mark speaking on a purpose driven business

A Dynamic Presentation with an Important Mission 

John and Mark delivered a presentation that showed how creating a purpose-driven business leads to a more engaged workforce. Their presentation mixed videos, slides, stories, and humor to drive home the tangible lessons they offered the audience.  And they brought some colleagues, some “Sock Wranglers” from their warehouse with them. 

“We shared what we do at John’s Crazy Socks and what we learned from other businesses,” said John Cronin. “We let people know that more than half our colleagues have a differing ability.” 

John and Mark X. Cronin and some of their colleagues

“We lead a business so we can speak to people from our experiences and we offer concrete actions that firms can take, but with John, we always send people out feeling happy and inspired,” said Mark. 

Afterwards, one attendee said, “They had me near tears and they had me laughing. I don’t think I have ever found a talk so moving and inspirational.” 

A Purpose Driven Business 

What is a purpose-driven business? It has a clear and compelling mission that is greater than simply producing profits. A purpose-driven business wants to have a positive impact in the community and for its stakeholders: employees, customers, community, and shareholders. Increasingly, customers and employers are questioning the motives and goals of businesses and a purpose-driven business can answer those questions. 

We need to ask, as Simon Sinek does, why are we in business. Not what do we do, but why do we do it. 

In their talk, John and Mark used John’s Crazy Socks as a living example of a purpose-driven business. “We offer a purpose greater than ourselves, a mission that makes a difference and does more than just generate a profit,” said Mark X. Cronin. “Don’t get me wrong, we want to earn money – John and I like to live indoors – but we strive for more.” 

A Korn Ferry study found that while purpose-driven consumer-products firms grew their sales at a 9.9 percent annual clip from 2011 to 2015, their peers averaged only a 2.4 percent growth rate. 

A Purpose-Driven Business Attracts Employees and Keeps them Engaged 

In the age of the Big Quit (in the last four months, 3.8 million Americans have left their jobs each month), a purpose-driven business will help attract employees. 

“Employees are asking, if I am spending 40 hours a week on a job, what is it for? What difference does it make?” said Mark. 

“One of our five pillars is to make John’s Crazy Socks a great place to work. That starts by offering people a mission worthy of their commitment and a purpose-driven business can do that,” said Mark. 

See the results of another Korn Ferry Study that found job candidates are making final job decisions based on a company’s culture and purpose rather than the actual benefits package. “Another study found that 90 percent of employees at purpose-driven firms say they’re engaged compared to just 32 percent of employees at ordinary firms.” 

John and Mark after speaking at the LI SHRM Conference

Keynote and Event Speakers 

You can have John and Mark speak to your organization or school. 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 virtually at 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. 

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

John and Mark X. Cronin keynote speakers

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 $650,000 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