One of the 2016 PITTSBURGH MAGAZINE 40 UNDER 40
Informal role/title: Sommelier and Barista
Birthplace/Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
My BusinessForward value: Empathy, because it drives meaningful progress for everyone – equally and collaboratively
One Fun Fact: I am very passionate about music. My Croatian Tambura (pronounced TAM-bore-ah) Band has performed in Croatia 3 times and at the National Folk Festival 5 times!
John’s professional career began as a consultant with Deloitte and later the groundbreaking Freemarkets. Applying lessons learned in those global companies, he flipped the traditional consulting model on its head and in 2006, launched BusinessForward. One of Pittsburgh’s fastest growing companies, BusinessForward celebrates 10 years in 2016 and provides business process consulting to IT and HR leaders in Fortune 500 companies across region as well as in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Ohio.
A deep believer in consulting as an empathetic practice to help people perform better, he has helped the company grow from a one man show collaborating with various internal organizations at Giant Eagle on multiple initiatives, to a team of 13 professionals providing 10 service offerings transforming the way business and IT organizations achieve growth and strategic goals.
The relationships he and his team have built with dozens of leading companies are deep and ever-evolving. New customer relationships continue to grow every day.
This same principle applies to the company mission of “advancing the personal and professional lives of customers, team members and the community.” This has manifested itself in team community service events and consistently finding opportunities for employees of customers to advance their careers.
A proud Croatian-American, he and his family are deeply involved in the vibrant Eastern European community in Pittsburgh and across North America, regularly representing the city at major folk arts events and serving on the Board of Directors and Executive Board of the Duquesne University Tamburitzans, the Tamburitza Association of America and the newly formed Pittsburgh Institute of Folk Arts.
John’s pride for our work is contagious to our team and customers. BusinessForward was recognized in 2014, 2015 and 2016 as one of the region’s “Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies”. When we were named the 2014 Sheetz IT Vendor of the Year, John cited the strength and commitment of our team. John was recognized by Vistage International, a CEO peer group, with a 2014 MVP Award for his candid feedback and innovative ideas.
When he’s not collaborating with customers to solve their biggest IT organization and business process challenges, he is spending time with his family, researching, building or consuming his wine collection and performing with his Croatian folk orchestra.