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John C. Johnson
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John C. Johnson, M&AMI, CBI

M&A Source Chairman, 2002

The M&A Source helped to improve my M&A intermediary career with programs like the M&AMI certification and the Dealmakers Expo. Even more, I gained from professional peer relationships built as an active member and leader. From those relationships have come deal flow, great business development ideas, encouragement through difficult times, and practice improvements allowing me to achieve more and better results.

As a founding member, I was active in leadership and development from inception. My favorite memories are of its early entrepreneurial spirit, excitement and activities. I well remember a Sunday morning general member meeting; it was suggested that we produce a marketing video for members to use in marketing their practices. Following a few minutes of discussion, a hand written signup circulated with almost all members signed on. Certain members committed to tasks of coordination, authorship and logistics, and a successful project was underway. A project, seminal to what is now Pratt's Stats, launched with the same unobstructed vigor. Another time, Robert Groag stepped forward with an idea to create an M&A Expo. Through his drive, with other volunteers, at the next conference our Dealmakers Expo was live and successful. We had little staff and even less money, but with smart, committed, and enthusiastic volunteers, we accomplished a lot.

Agreement to chair the M&A Source came when it's candle was flickering quite low. Our organization had nearly failed. Bob Gurolla took the challenge to stop the slide, and was an unsung hero. Bob asked me to help him, then follow on as Chair to keep up the progress in restoring positive direction and momentum. That was my challenge and accomplishment as Chair. We resurrected transparency to members, committed to volunteer leadership, shared responsibility, identified values of membership, communicated with the members, and set specific objectives and responsibilities for strategic growth and improvement. It was a year of hard work, but great rewards came in seeing our group continue growing and prospering for a decade.

My time in the M&A Source has been a joy. My experience includes chairing committees, writing a course, teaching, being treasurer, and working on the Strategic Issues Task Force as well as on conference panels. This dovetails with IBBA leader roles including President, rewriting the CBI exam, and initiating IBBA's strategic plan.

I've given our profession my best since 1989. Rewards abound in seeing growth and improvements blossom, with adversity overcome through ingenuity, determination and commitment from our peer leaders. Working with those peers has built strong relationships and treasured friendships. Receiving the Darrell Fouts  Award from among these great professionals is truly a prized honor.