For two decades, John has been the secret weapon of good people who want to take their organizations to the next level – and are willing to go there first. John is a veteran of the United States Air Force, a graduate of The University of Baltimore, a social entrepreneur, artist, business advisor and performance coach.
In 1998 John formed the first of three management consulting firms which have advised nearly 400 companies on issues of top-line revenue growth strategy and implementation, and executive-performance/coaching:
• Macdonald-Starling (1998) focused on solving growth challenges for small to mid-sized businesses through strategic planning, revenue growth strategy, and strategic marketing.
• Smith Content, Inc. (2001) was the first b2b content development company in the United States, serving hundreds of organizations across myriad industries and multiple continents. From start-ups to Fortune 50 companies, “Smith” advised companies on issues of corporate value proposition development and deployment strategy, as a key driver of revenue growth.
• Smith Growth Partners (2007) advised, trained and coached CEOs and their management teams on finding competitive advantage in the nexus of strategic growth, human performance, interpersonal communication, team dynamics – and the relationship between these factors, as it relates to individual and group achievement.
John has lived a life of service to the communities in which he has lived and worked; from to being a teacher in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, to serving on and advising nonprofit Boards of Advisors, including The Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics, Health Care for the Homeless, The University of Baltimore Alumni Board of Governors, The University of Maryland Incentive Scholar Foundation, and more.
Over the last decade, John has founded two youth development programs: The School of the Way, Mentoring & Martial Arts; and Pride Girls Soccer.
John is the author of a popular series on business growth strategy (and its parallels in the martial arts) that appeared in SmartCEO magazine. He is a veteran professional speaker for businesses and associations, and guest-lectures at universities on growth strategy, community leadership and leading a purpose-driven life.
A creative to his core, John is the author of a picture book for young children on over-achievement, failure and self-acceptance as the genesis of true “success” (The Flight of the Platypus – a story of self-discovery); and is a singer/songwriter and bandleader, currently signed to Ruby Records.