John and Mark X. Cronin to Speak at Graduation for Next Steps Program - Johns Crazy Socks

John and Mark X. Cronin to Speak at Graduation for Next Steps Program at Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University has asked John and Mark X. Cronin to give a speech at the graduation ceremony for the Next Steps program. Leading entrepreneurs and advocates for the rights of the disabled, the Cronins are excited to both congratulate the graduates on their achievement and to inspire them to make their mark on the world. 

Tammy Day, the Director of the Next Steps Program at Vanderbilt University said, “We are all excited and appreciate your generosity and joyous spirit. We think our students will especially enjoy hearing from you, John.” 

“I am excited to meet the students and to inspire them,” said John Cronin, co-founder of John’s Crazy Socks. 

The Cronins are frequent speakers at conferences, business events and schools and are part of the U.S. State Department’s Speaker’s Bureau. They have spoken at many colleges and universities across the United States and Canada including Loyola University (Chicago), the University of Houston, Rutgers, Carleton University and Simon Fraser University. They have spoken at graduation ceremonies across New York. 

“First and foremost, we want to congratulate the students on their achievement, but also we want to challenge and inspire them to use their education as they move out into the world,” said Mark X. Cronin. 

John likes to say, “I have Down syndrome and Down syndrome never holds me back.” He will share that spirit in his talk to the Vanderbilt graduates. 

John’s Crazy Socks, the business co-founded by the father and son team, has a mission to spread happiness. Part of their core mission involves showing what people with differing abilities can achieve. John is not only an entrepreneur, but he also has Down syndrome. More than half the company’s employees have a differing ability, and the company works to show the world what people with differing abilities can do. 

“We may have started out as a small business,” said Mark, “but we are out to change the world.” 

As part of their mission, the Cronins devote themselves to advocating for the rights of people with disabilities. They have testified twice before Congress and spoken at the United Nations. They are part of the CEO Commission on Disability Employment and the Autism@Work Employer Roundtable. They have been the featured speakers at in-person events across the U.S., Canada and Mexico and spoken at virtual events on five continents.   They have addressed corporate events with Microsoft, EY, Bank of America, IBM and Campbells as well as spoken at conferences for entrepreneurs and social service agencies serving the disabled population. They are also winners of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award and frequent guests on national and regional news and television shows. They leave audiences smiling and wiping away tears as they share their inspirational story, entrepreneurial adventure and love between a father and son. 

speaking engagements

You can learn more about John and Mark’s speaking engagements by clicking here.


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