John Craig: Career Path Services’ New Chief Financial Officer

craig-john-web-resolutionJohn Craig is a Massachusetts man, raised south of Boston in the town of Milton, a place most well-known for the signing of the Suffolk Resolves that led to adoption of the Declaration of Independence by American colonists.  He doesn’t miss the traffic, but as a lifelong Boston Bruins and New England Patriots fan, he still makes it back on occasion.

Like many young adults, he spent his early college years exploring career options. He first graduated from a school for auto mechanics, went on to Boston State University, the University of Massachusetts – Boston, Bentley College, and finally the Universidad de Sevilla in Spain for his last two semesters of schooling. During his tenure, he studied archaeology for a year, realizing that the 110-degree weather and low pay were enough to keep him out of that field professionally, but not personally. He also managed to earn three degrees: one in Management Information Systems, another in Finance, and the third in Spanish.

Never one to shy away from adventure, John took some time away after completing his academic pursuits to sail from Sudan to Egypt with a hired crew on a tiny sailboat. The journey took over six weeks, where he found himself sleeping on deck under starry skies and visiting port towns along the way. Once in Egypt, he stayed for a few months, and was able to visit a number of tombs and sites, enjoying the culture and satisfying his intellectual curiosity.

Covered in a keffiyeh and suntan, he returned to the states to visit a previous employer who offered him a position as the controller for the organization. Hesitant at first, John found the flexibility and benefits of the job appealing, and his acceptance of the position signified the true start of his finance career. Later on, a struggling healthcare company in Connecticut recruited him to bring them back from the brink of bankruptcy. For the first 18 months, he worked 120 hours a week to salvage the organization, earning himself the label of a ‘healthcare non-profit repair person.’

It wouldn’t be until years later that John found himself considering the position of Chief Financial Officer for Career Path Services. Steve Tammaro, CEO at YMCA of the Inland Northwest, convinced John to speak with George Iranon, CEO, about the organization’s need to fill the shoes of the outgoing CFO. Marie Bjork, whose 29 years of service provided a platform of fiscal responsibility and  a family-oriented corporate culture, wouldn’t be easy to replace. He met with George and found himself surprised that Steve had been right – the organization would be a great cultural fit on both sides.

Committed to finding out more about the organization, John went through Career Path Services’ rigorous interview process. He was impressed by the focus on corporate culture, and the thorough participation in the process by staff at every level. He considered the change to his working lifestyle: there was no infrastructure to fix, and the company was not on the verge of bankruptcy. What would this mean to his focus and enthusiasm for the position? He answers below:

“This place is doing well, and (so) we’re going to take it from doing well to doing better. We’ll continue to improve it, expand. and serve more people without diluting the effectiveness of what we already do well.”

While the high energy he brings to every position he’s served in will not lessen, his focus will be on the growth of the organization at a sustainable pace. While some changes are inevitable, he appreciates the family-oriented approach to taking care of employees and customers without abandoning solid business principals. While many organizations may claim to have an open door policy, John has already observed the way employees at Career Path Services are comfortable in voicing opinions and making suggestions for improvement. He embraces the idea that one person doesn’t have all the answers, and will look to the experts in their positions for advice.

When asked why he does it all or what he does when not crunching numbers, his first answer is spending time with his children, Cameron and Brady. They all love the outdoors, hiking on their properties, fishing the low summertime streams at Lightning Creek, and skiing in the winter.

It has been a little over two weeks since John arrived, and he’s starting to settle in, while acknowledging the steep learning curve the first few months in any new position entail. Please welcome him  in traditional Career Path Services’ fashion with the food, fellowship, and fun that has helped to define the organization’s culture over the years.

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