As both a professor in business and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, I rank John at the top of his profession and would hire him again for any nonprofit reorganization work.
James Campbell Quick, College of Business, University of Texas at Arlington

Aside from being one of the most pleasant individuals I have had the privilege to work for, John is also one of the most organized and analytical managers I have met in the last 20 years. His ability to “see the big picture” and affect the direction of an entire organization by making subtle and precise changes amazes me. John manages to organize/re-organize while making sure that the “spirit and culture” of the business he works with remain intact.
Thorsten Buescher, EVP IT Outsourcing, InfoTech

In 2010, I began working as a Teaching Artist for Dancing Classrooms in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In my first year of teaching the program, our USVI site was running into some serious trouble due to a lack of sufficient funding and leadership. In the summer of 2011, John was an integral part of rescuing our site from closing, and became my mentor in assisting me to re-establish Dancing Classrooms as a successful non-profit organization in our community.
Katie Zaytoun, Executive Director, Dancing Classrooms Virgin Islands

Over the past several years, John has done a tremendous job of modernizing, streamlining, and reshaping Dancing Classrooms. Under his guidance can now much more effectively and efficiently perform its day-to-day activities, expand its reach nationally and globally and fulfill its mission of instilling values and self-esteem in schoolchildren through a program of ballroom dance instruction. From corporate governance to employment issues to fundraising and marketing, John has spearheaded significant improvements and reinvigorated the company. Through a combination of rigorous attention to detail, improved reporting structure, transparency, communications and cost-cutting, John has transformed the organization, but in a way that was sensitive to the history and artistic development of the program.
Rachel B. Coan, Partner, Locke Lord LLP

When assessing the needs of our organization, John Ross made listening one of his top priorities — not only to members of senior management, but also to middle management and their direct reports. He is an excellent meeting facilitator, adept at keeping people on topic, identifying the heart of the matter, and suggesting action steps for problem resolution. He does all of this and more with an economy of words, calling little attention to himself. Any organization would benefit from his guidance.
Alee Reed, Senior Educational Liaison, Dancing Classrooms New York City

John is the consummate professional. He is a visionary who follows through to make significant and valuable organizational change.
Jane Brooks, Co-Executive Director, Arts in Schools Collaborative

During a difficult time of transition, John was able to establish new systems, maintain personnel focus, and create a balanced environment in which people flourished. He is an excellent manager, a stabilizing force, and a fair/honest human being.
Yvonne Marceau, Artistic Director/Fund development, Dancing Classrooms New York City

From 2001 to 2007, I served as President of the Board, Fourth Street Parent and Child Learning Center in Arlington, Texas. This was the period of dramatic challenge and transition as the newly formed non-profit was emerging from the former Fourth Street Project, Inc. Financially and in business practices, Fourth Street was seriously challenged.

John Ross was absolutely instrumental in leading the workout turnaround and laying a firm foundation upon which the future success of the non-profit period is based. Mr. Ross served as Interim Executive Director for a period of about one year in 2003 and 2004. There were three critical aspects of his work that saved the organization:

  • first, he began a systematic process of managing and engaging the Board and its members in the most constructive way for the well-being of the principle business, which was the school,
  • second, he actively managed and aligned the school director, staff resources, and teachers in such a way that the outcomes were positive for all concerned despite very challenging times, and,
  • third, he put into place business practices that supported the professional service delivery at the heart of the school while helping to shut down the clinic which was a financial drain on the organization.

Throughout this turnaround, Mr. Ross maintained a positive attitude, reached out to a range of constituencies to importantly include parents of children in the school.  My professional assessment is that John Ross is a highly talented and motivated professional. He demonstrated outstanding skills in helping the board reorganize Fourth Street. As both a professor in business and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, I rank John at the top of his profession and would hire him again for any non-profit organizational or turnaround work.
James Campbell Quick, College of Business, University of Texas at Arlington

John was instrumental in planning and developing Fourth Street Project. He was exceptionally talented in working directly with the children in addition to relating to parents and supervising the business details of the project. John was known for his energetic approach to problem solving. He was willing to imagine and develop new ways to deal with the daily problems that exist in an innovative approach. The uniqueness of Fourth Street Project was due primarily to John’s drive and creativity.
C. Ewing Cooley, Psychologist

John is an effective executive who, in the words of Peter Drucker, gets the right things done.
Fernando Costa, Assistant City Manager, City of Fort Worth

Now that I am retired after having founded Dancing Classrooms twenty years ago I look back and can clearly see what an incredible impact you, John, had on the growth of the Dancing Classrooms program.   John, you need to know that I certainly could never have done it without you, without your business acumen and your knowledge of the nonprofit world. I had the good fortune of getting my program into over 220 schools in all five boroughs of New York City, but you, John, you got us in over 25 cities around the USA and in four other countries around the world.

Thanks to you, Dancing Classrooms has instructed over 410,000 children around the world. I could not have done this without you.  And you John believed in what my dreams were and still are:  having Dancing Classrooms reach every child in every school in every city in the USA and in all possible countries around the world. We are not there yet but thanks to you we have had an incredible start.
Pierre Dulaine, Founder, Dancing Classrooms

John is a thinker and a decision maker who cuts through the fluff and hype to get to core issues. He thinks outside the box and has a real gift for putting laser focus on results; great business instincts and a team player.
Mike Steele, President & CEO, Communities In Schools of Greater Tarrant County

I have great respect and admiration for John and his organizational management capacity. He is clear, transparent, fair and mission driven. He is able to strategically view the bigger picture without getting lost in it. He invests in building the capacity of his team through reflective supervision and always following through on all decisions. He is a careful and thoughtful leader, who leads and guides through his actions.
Olivia Roanhorse, Director, Native Strong, Notah Begay III Foundation

John is an exceptional leader and brings along a series of skillsets that have the ability to transform an organization. His leadership style is open and honest and his expectations are straightforward and clearly communicated. John provides everyone on his team an opportunity to grow and has a knack for using their role within the organization for both professional and personal development.
Jo Jo Graham, Executive Director, Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio

John has exceptional organizational capacity building abilities. As a strong leader and strategic thinker, he has been immensely successful in developing and implementing a variety of policies that have benefited staff and our work productivity. He is skilled in thoughtfully assessing and addressing the various challenges that arise in a workplace and providing short and long term solutions that are not only feasible, but that contribute the most benefit to all parties. In addition, he has created a valued organizational culture by supporting professional development for staff and family-friendly work policies. While always, maintaining a high level of professionalism, he is personable, sincere and open-minded. He encourages feedback and takes the time to process the feedback he receives. John is a true asset to any team or organization that he is a part of and I’m extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work for him.
Michelle Gutierrez, Program Officer at Notah Begay III Foundation

While I was working with John he had the challenging task of transitioning Dancing Classrooms from its famous Founder, Pierre Dulaine, to a new Executive Director he would have to find. The situation was reminiscent of the debate as to who was going to replace Johnny Carson—all the pressure of stepping into the shoes of legend without the perks of the notoriety.

The best way for me to describe John is in his ability to marshal people in challenging times, make the tough decisions to move the organization forward and be strategic every step along the way. He is passionate without an ounce of ego, kind without being soft. He is the perfect example of a leader you’re looking for when you seek stability, direction and intelligent decisions to be made confidently.

That is not to say John can’t be warm and magnanimous…in fact, he’s the perfect person to pull the younger members of the staff close to him, tell them a well timed anecdote and provide them with the kind of personal counsel that only someone with his wisdom can do with aplomb. If you’re looking for someone who can whip an organization into shape with a velvet club, look no further than Mr. Ross.
Colin Glaum, Founder—Benevolent Mercenaries

The greatest value that John contributes to an organization (and there are several) is his ability to probe an issue, assess varying and often contradictory factors relating to that issue and then chart a decisive course of action, all while managing to navigate the entire process in a fair, inclusive and meaningful way that moves everyone in the organization forward.
Adriana J. Borzellino, Operations Director, Dancing Classrooms New York City

John is a well experienced Senior Executive in the non-profit community. He also has business experience in the for profit world which makes him unusually valuable in many consulting areas.
Randy Gleason, Senior Consultant to the New Mexico Conference Methodist Foundation, Inc.

John has the ability to motivate staff and volunteers, both operational and governance, to move an organization forward to implement its Mission.
Sandy Kautz, CEO, Girl Scouts–Circle T Council. Inc.

John is a practical, experienced executive who excels at keeping an organization’s long-term goals in clear view. John is fully capable of operating in the day-to-day ocean of detail; it is his ability to rise above it that makes him an outstanding strategist.
Melinda Guillemette, Owner, Melinda Motivates

In addition to guiding Dancing Classrooms through a period of explosive growth, he also led our organization with a steady hand during a period of decreased spending and contraction by our customer base. His leadership is principled and reliable and he can be trusted to always act in the best interests of the organization. He is equally adept at managing the internal operational needs of our company and thinking about external relationships and activities that are necessary for business development.
Rodney Eric Lopez, Senior Teaching Artist, Dancing Classrooms New York City

I have never met anyone like John who has such sharp and profound insight into things but it is endorsed by reason. Very quick in action, clarity and precision in speech, extremely well-balanced between intellect and emotion and great sense of humor. He is also very resourceful, and I have learned a lot from him. He is truly courageous and loyal, which permits him to always speak truth. For someone as gifted as he, he is extraordinarily humane, and I always felt respected by him.
Keiko Taylor, Executive Director, Dancing Classrooms Geneva

John Ross was and is a mentor to me. His counsel was sought by his peers, the community and elected officials. John’s expertise in so many areas makes him a versatile and knowledgeable leader. But the distinguishing characteristic about John is his impeccable integrity, transparency and commitment to what is ethical and just.
Andra Bennett, APR, Senior Director of Communications, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce

Through the years I have worked with dozens of professionals. But, there are only a few who have been worthy for me to rank as my mentors.   John’s management skills, coupled with his knowledge of human behaviors and the social service system, truly sets him apart from many who try to create programs to help our youth of today.  John’s never ending support throughout our inaugural season helped us to be as successful as we were. He is an incredible teacher and leader.
Mark Rogalsky,  Unit Manager for Prevention Services at Pittsburgh Mercy Health System

I was brand new to the world of non-profits, let alone running a business. John helped to bring out the leadership qualities in me, and always reminded me to trust my instincts. John is someone who I will always regard as a great teacher and leader. I firmly agree with his philosophy behind Servant Leadership.
Katie Zaytoun, Executive Director, Dancing Classrooms Virgin Islands

John is a tremendously talented guy with a servant’s heart.
Tim Madigan, senior writer, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

He has provided wise counsel and compassionate mentoring throughout our time working together. He is always present and responds quickly to all queries. He worked diligently to create a team culture throughout the organization with care, joy and a sense of humor.
Nancy Duncan, Director, Dancing Classrooms/Long Island

John has the rare ability to visualize the big picture and all the minute details that comprise it. He is a clear and concise thinker who defines the issues and leads others to solutions.
Jean Block, President, Jean Block Consulting, Inc./Social Enterprise Ventures, LLC (NM)

John Ross is one of the most talented and strategic non-profit leaders I’ve had the pleasure of working with.
Rodney Eric Lopez, Senior Teaching Artist, Dancing Classrooms New York City

John is a wonderful team leader and colleague who did a superlative job in keeping our twenty five sites, far and wide, well connected, informed and updated including implementation of our Annual National Network Conference and National Training WorkshopsIlsa Abraham, Executive Director, Join the Dance, Ontario, Canada

I have come to appreciate and rely on John’s expertise and wisdom over the past year and a half. His leadership style is at once very professional and also very approachable and warm. His mentorship has made a lasting impact on me as a leader in my own organization.
Matt Longhurst, Artistic Director, Dancing Classrooms Greater Seattle

John’s skills as a manager not only benefitted the organization but I learned a lot from him as well. He is organized and efficient and has a talent for guiding his employees in a friendly but firm manner. I appreciated his vision and ability to translate that vision into a plan of action.
Marian Fey, former Artistic Director, The ARTery (Omaha, NB)

Tarrant County Youth Collaboration was completely transformed under John’s leadership and to this day is seen as a cutting edge organization with real vision.
Mike Steele, President & CEO, Communities In Schools of Greater Tarrant County (TX)

John is an enthusiastic advocate for programs that build social capital, particularly in the arena of strengthening youth and families. He has a passion for his work that is contagious to those around him. His sense of strategy and developing partnerships lends power to the projects he takes on.
Faye Beaulieu, Project Director, United Way-Northeast (TX)

John is a passionate professional who is intent on leveraging organizational resources to make a significant difference in the lives of children and their families.
J. Lee Whittington, Ph.D., President, Bedford Consulting Group (TX)

John is a creative, high energy leader and manager. He is able to create and implement new ideas and initiatives, successfully engaging others in the effort. He works tirelessly to ensure that desired results are achieved.
Cindy Johnson, Consultant, Facilitator, Retreat Leader and Speaker (TX)

Building a new nonprofit from scratch in no easy task and John was always a patient and accessible mentor.
Teresa Paul Daie, Executive Director, Dancing Classrooms Phoenix

John took the notion of collaboration from a touchy-feely just get to know each other atmosphere where collaboration might happen to an organized way of finding and formalizing contractual collaborations that took advantage of the strengths of each partner to produce outcomes that were greater than the individual parts. This transition took imagination, pro-active strategic planning, great personal tenacity and a remarkable ability to create a shared vision for the future.
Mike Steele, President & CEO, Communities In Schools of Greater Tarrant County

John played a key role in the pilot of an internationally award winning program; Building Connections—Building Community (BC2). As the Executive Director of TCYC, John played a key role in the development of the program, specifically core program structure, the recruitment of each of the partners involved, and the administrative and fiscal oversight. BC2 became a unique collaboration of grassroots type organizations with a mission based upon research that indicated parents who abuse or neglect their children are more likely to be socially isolated from formal and informal support systems. With John’s insight he was able to provide a needed connection for these individuals. John is a strong and ethical leader and manager.
Andy Kancel, Police Chief, City of North Richland Hills

John is a compassionate and capable executive who understands the needs of a community. He is able to garner the necessary resources to address pertinent issues and is a master in building coalitions of professionals and other civic minded businesses to meet the challenges faced by clients in need.
Joan Rycraft, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Arlington

As Project Director for United Way Northeast, it was my privilege to work with John on three different collaborative projects during the years 2003-2006.  As Chairperson of the Partnership for Children, he kept a group of child-serving agencies focused on strategies to improve quality of life for very young children. In related work, he envisioned a world where specific neighborhoods took responsibility for the safety of their kids; this vision grew into the Children’s Neighborhood Network, and one of these neighborhoods, an area of West Hurst, grew its own advisory council that included representatives from the local police department, the neighborhood Presbyterian church, the elementary school PTA, United Way, and neighborhood residents. In addition, he directed the birth and growth of Building Connections/Building Community, or BC2, which took the neighborhood model another evolutionary step into a collaboration of governmental entities – city, school, church, and community agency – to focus on strengthening a particular community in North Richland Hills; data showed a drop in the number of child abuse cases reported to CPS in that community following the development of the collaboration.

John genuinely believes in the power of connectedness, as indicated in the motto adopted by the Partnership For Children during his tenure there: “Doing together what we cannot do alone.” He understands the concept of social capital and has the toolbox of people skills that can draw community leaders together to meld their strengths.

John would be a valuable asset to any community-building effort.
Faye Beaulieu, Project Director, United Way-Northeast

John’s work at Camp Fire USA was value-added for the community and region. His in-depth knowledge of early childhood programs, his public policy expertise, and his insights on organizational development and leadership made him highly effective in collaborative community initiatives.
Cynthia Miller, Sr. Dir. Workforce Development and Education, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce

The Arlington Child Care Council, a community collaboration focusing on early childhood development, will always be indebted to John Ross’ management skills and sense of community. John’s collaborative style, knowledge and insight into community stakeholders, and innate leadership skills rescued a nascent concept of our community’s thirst to care for our youngest citizens.  John led us through a comprehensive Strategic Planning process and guided us through implementation of that plan.  Entities as diverse as the Chamber of Commerce, Arlington Independent School District, City of Arlington, Business Community and community volunteers came together under John’s tutelage to embrace a common vision. Arlington is better for his leadership.
Mel LeBlanc, Co-Chair, the Arlington Child Care Council
Arlington City Council, District 1, Arlington, Texas

What I enjoyed about John was his ability to see beyond conventional thinking to envision services in a new and innovative way, and then to find the connections and partnerships to implement those innovations. When John believes in something, his energy and focus is boundless.
Linda Fulmer, Principal, Fulmer & Associates

John brings diverse players to the table to solve community problems and builds bridges between organizations and the people within them. It is fun to watch him work and the organizations he leads become successful!
Jean Block, President, Jean Block Consulting, Inc./Social Enterprise Ventures, LLC

I worked with John Ross while collaborating with the folks from YMCA on a youth & family project. John is professional, understanding, and very personable. His knowledge of collaboration and leading teams is incredible.
Aaron Giesler, Youth Pastor, Grace Church

I had the privilege of working with John on the strategic planning process for the El Tesoro Camp. John was the Camp Fire liaison to the strategic planning team. Throughout that process he demonstrated great vision, the ability to organize our work, and a commitment to collaboration. The end result was a strategic plan that Camp Fire is currently using as the basis of a $10 million fund raising campaign for El Tesoro.
David Grebel, Director of Extended Education, Texas Christian University