After receiving his B.S. in Communications and Public Relations from Illinois State University in 1987, he began working with young people, families, and educators, first as a Youth Minister, and then as a high school Teacher and Development Director. Throughout that time, John was thrilled to be called upon to speak to schools, service organizations, hospitals, corporations, and churches. Over the past 28 years, John has spoken to more than two million people.

In 2004, John was recognized for his tireless efforts against intolerance and injustice by Rosa Parks, co-chair for the National Campaign for Tolerance. His name is engraved on the Wall of Tolerance in Montgomery, Alabama.

Since 2010, John has served as Director of Retreats at La Salle Manor Retreat Center in Plano, Illinois, where he gives presentations, directs team building, and facilitates small groups with adolescents and educators.

He has been married to Laureen Donahue-Grossman since 1987, has three adult children, one granddaughter and resides in Big Rock, Illinois.