John R. Gregory Inducted 2007 - Class of 1959
John grew up on Buckeye Street, attended Hamilton School, and was one of three sons of the late John and Sadie Gregory. His brothers are Lamarr (WHS '66) and Earl (WHS '61, now deceased). At Woodward, he was an outstanding student both academically and athletically. A well-liked guy, he played football, basketball, and ran track all four years, earning a total of nine varsity letters. In football, he received Honorable Mention All-City. In Track, he was Captain and All -City. John was the winner of the Michigan Plaque and the Babe Ruth Award his senior year!
Hall of Fame Member, Tom Grzywynski, John's WHS friend and teammate comments: “John is one of the most incredible human beings I've ever known. John just has the most positive attitude-he has that gift of making people feel good just by being with him." Tom always knew John would be a huge success. Tom continues, "John’s parents were outstanding and John acquired many great qualities from them. John's smile is infectious; he is just terrific to be with. He is a hard worker with goals, he never lets anything get him down, and he can truly connect with people." Dick McGee,
another teammate, says of John: "If you went to the dictionary and looked up 'classy,' you'd find John's name. If you had sons, you'd want them to grow up just like John. He is a quiet guy and he earned respect simply by his performance." Some of John's other Woodward pals were Wendell Boyd, Butch Komives (John even encouraged Butch to join the football team) and Don Kornowa.
In addition to sports, his extra-curricular activities were Palette (Art) Club, Junior and Senior Class Sgt. at Arms, Ring Committee, and he was a Tattler Achievement Cup Finalist. The teachers John remembers are Bob Geis, who provided incentive to succeed as a student; LeMaxie Glover, who reviewed career options and college academic choices with him; Jocko Gordon, who pushed John to be even better than he thought he could be; and Charles Matthews, who took a personal interest in his growth as a student and as an athlete.
John and Dick McGee were awarded scholarships to both TU and Montana. Knowing he didn't want to go out to Montana as it was too far away, and TU because it was too close, John chose to attend Baldwin Wallace. At Baldwin Wallace, John played football and was a three-year varsity starter, All-Ohio, All Conference, Gem City Senior Bowl (All Star) Player, and was drafted by the Chicago Bears. John also ran track and was a four-year Varsity Letter Winner, Captain All Conference (indoor and outdoor), Conference Record Hurdler, and All American. He was a 100M and 200MPan Am Games Qualifier, 2nd Place 200M NCAA, 3rd Place 400M Hurdles NCAA, and1st Place 4X4400 Relay in the NCAA Championships.
John's degree is in Business Administration (Accounting). Baldwin Wallace has since inducted him into its Hall of Fame.
A very successful entrepreneur, John has served as President of Gregory Enterprises, a Management Consulting Firm, since 2004. Before that, he was President and CEO of General Warehousing, Vice President of Logistics Management Services, Inc .,President of G & C Industries, Executive Vice President of Professional Distribution Service, Inc., and Owner of Executive Concepts-all companies he formed by himself or with a partner.
He is a former executive with Dana, where he moved up to VP and General Manager from Plant Manager and Corporate Human Resources Manager positions. While at Dana, his responsibilities included global responsibility for all aspects of this $200 million business, including Product Development, Engineering, Sales Marketing, and Manufacturing and Quality Control. He was also responsible for three manufacturing facilities in North America as well as facilities in South America, Japan, and Europe.
Before joining Dana, John was an executive with OI for seven years and, prior to that, he was with General Motors for four years. When he was with OI, one of his Jobs was head of Personnel for the Bahamas Operations.
Throughout his life, John has enjoyed coaching Little League Football and Baseball ,and has served on the board s of the PTA, YMCA, Urban League, Arlington Park Athletic Assoc., and National Urban League Executive Exchange Program (as a college guest lecturer). He has been a guest speaker at high schools. John feels very strongly about his message to young African-American men- that education, more than athletics, is the key to preparation for life and a prosperous future.
Dublin, Ohio, is now home for John. He enjoys attending and watching sporting events. He also likes to read, listens to music, and spends time with his sons, John Derek and Jay, whom he loves very much. They and his brother, Lamarr, are here to share in this special evening, as are some of his former teammates. John, congratulations! Your life and career exhibit a playbook on how to succeed- as a very classy guy!