The New York Stock Exchange invites leading companies to ring the closing bell at the end of the trading day and on Monday, August 8, John Cronin, Co-Founder of John’s Crazy Socks, stood with Rod Martin, CEO of Voya Financial, to ring the closing bell on behalf of the CEO Commission for Employment Disability as part of an ongoing effort to promote disability-inclusive employment.
John Cronin said, “At John’s Crazy Socks, we hire people with differing abilities and that helps us succeed. We want other companies to know that hiring people with differing abilities will help their business.”
John signed he guest book to permanently mark the event and the role that John's Crazy Socks played.
Rod Martin, said, “Disability inclusion hiring is not only the right thing to do, but it makes for good business.” Rod is known as a corporate leader for his advocacy in promoting hiring people with disabilities and encouraging other corporate leaders to follow suit.
The CEO Commission was founded by Voya Financial, the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) to advocate for the employment and rights of people with disabilities. John’s Crazy Socks joined the CEO Commission for Disability Employment to demonstrate that not only large organizations, but small businesses can benefit from disability inclusive hiring.
On Monday, Rod Martin, SHRM CEO Johnny Taylor, and NDSS CEO Kandi Pickard were joined by Senator Tom Harkin, to speak to a gathering of business and policy leaders on the urgent need to increase opportunities for people with disabilities. The audience included Sharon Leite, CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe, Nish Parikh, CEO of Rangam, Patrick Bardsley, CEO of Spectrum Design and Chris McKelvy from the Joseph P. Kennedy Junior Foundation. John and his co-founder and father, Mark X. Cronin, joined the gathering.
Johnny Taylor made the point that companies benefit from “seeing what people can do, not what they can’t do.” He went on to add that diversity makes organizations more resilient and lead to higher profits. Mr. Taylor also emphasized that true inclusion requires a deep, cultural commitment by an organization.
John and Mark particularly enjoyed their conversations with retired Senator Tom Harkin, who now leads the Harkin Institute. John thanked Senator Harkin who was the primary author of the American with Disabilities Act which has made such a difference in John’s life and the lives of millions of Americans. They spoke of ways that John’s Crazy Socks can support the work of the Harkin Institute to advance the rights and employment of people with disabilities.
Mark X. Cronin said, “We want businesses to know that hiring people with disabilities is not altruism, it is good business.” John and Mark have given a TEDx Talk on that theme.
Asked about his day at the New York Stock Exchange, John Cronin said, “I loved it. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have, and I want all people with differing abilities to have the same opportunities.”
About the CEO Commission for Disability Employment
The mission of the CEO Commission for Disability Employment is to raise awareness of the untapped potential of people with disabilities and work to ensure that people with disabilities achieve and maintain equal access to meaningful employment. For more information, contact Melissa Hulick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 $500,000 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 or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at email@example.com.