John took the leap from General Electric Company to the then four-shop ice cream company based on his belief that Jeni Britton Bauer was a generational talent making the World’s finest ice creams. He and Jeni had been long-time friends, and they decided that their talents were a perfect yin and yang. The Company has since grown to more than 50 scoop shops, from LA to DC, has "gone national" with its pints on the freezer shelves of America's finest retailers, and has developed the nation’s largest direct-to-consumer ice cream shipping business. John led Jeni’s 2013 effort to become a Certified B Corporation, biannually opening the company to a rigorous audit to meet B Lab’s “highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.” The Company has received innumerable accolades, from a Time headline asking, “Can The Best Ice Cream In America Be Its Biggest?” to Inc., Fast Company, and Fortune, as well as “Best Sorbet,” “Best Dessert” and “Best Product Line” “Sofie Awards” from the Specialty Food Association. Most recently, the company was B Lab’s “2019 - Community - Best For The World” honoree. John has appeared on Bloomberg and MSNBC, but generally stays behind the scenes in favor of the Company’s founder, whose captivating talks on ice cream and creativing are much better for the company than anyone seeing John’s ugly face.
Prior to Jeni's, John served in numerous leadership roles with General Electric Company, including stints as General Counsel of GE's Business & General Aviation startup, GC of its Aviation Services Global Operations - a $14B P&L operating 35 MRO facilities and joint ventures around the globe - and an Officer of GE Honda Aero Engines, LLC, a joint venture created to power HondaJet. During the 2008 financial crisis, John was tapped to lead multiple business-critical divestitures. Lucky for him, each deal closed minutes prior to GE's quarterly reporting cut-off, and his future outside the law was cemented.
John is a long-serving outside director of White Castle Company, and advisory board member of Watershed Distillery. He is a founding board member of the Columbus Chapter of Conscious Capitalism, founder of an offshoot club of 35 Columbus CEOs, and serves on the board of the Columbus Youth Foundation. He is a graduate of University of Illinois, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, GE’s famed Manager Development Course, the Human Performance Institute’s Executive Course, and most recently, Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders Program. John has but one hobby: he loves coaching his three sons’ basketball teams. Jack, 16, Alex, 13, and Luke, 10, will not play at the college level, but they will play beyond their athletic ability, and learn the benefits of tenacity, hustle and making the most of opportunities. He is married to their mother, Catherine L. Strauss, a partner with IceMiller.