Put simply, John Krpan is a problem-solver who helps business leaders figure out how to move forward, especially when things are falling apart.
“When the building’s on fire and everybody’s running out, I’m running in,” said John. “If there’s a problem, I’m interested.”
John has used his problem-solving powers to turn around organizations across multiple industries, from healthcare to manufacturing to oil and gas.
“The way my expertise has been summarized is simply revenue growth,” he said. “If you need growth or transformation, I’m your guy.”
From British Columbia to the Emerald City
John is originally from the Vancouver, BC area. He attended college in Victoria on Vancouver Island and earned his bachelor’s in earth sciences, followed by his master’s in atmospheric science.
“I enjoyed anything physical outside, so I started in geology, but I just loved all the sciences. I enjoyed the hands-on field work outside.”
John discovered during his master’s program that he wasn’t exactly passionate about the academic nature of atmospheric science, which proved to be an asset. Because he wasn’t emotional about the data he was working with, he was neck deep in IT and able to take a practical view of it. This garnered attention from people who needed someone without a dog in the fight to help them find the best path forward for conflicting business and IT applications.
“I think the ability to look at it unemotionally did serve a great purpose,” said John. “Others wanted a career or did it as a hobby, so they had a biased perspective. I’m just extremely practical.”
After earning his master’s, John worked with an engineering company doing feasibility studies for building rail, oil and gas applications. The work was very technical, but John gravitated toward the practical business side of things. He didn’t just want to know how to do something, he wanted to know why and whether it was the best course for the business. That’s when he realized he was cut out to be a problem-solver. It was this trait that led to a job offer in United States.
Coast to Coast
When the World Bank was struggling with conflicting business and IT applications, they called John.
“I was working in Vancouver and the World Bank in Washington D.C. got my name somehow. They needed some help with strategic planning and they asked me to come out, so I did. I laid out a plan for them in their IT area. A year later they said they hadn’t found anybody who could really wrap their mind around what I put together, but they liked it and asked if I could come on board full-time as their chief information officer and execute on this.”
John relocated to D.C. to work for the bank, then to Dallas, Texas to launch an advertising company before finally heading to Seattle.
“There was some work here that interested me,” he said, “but there was also a green-eyed brunette woman who captured my interest as well, and she happened to live here.”
John met Janice, who is now his wife, on a business trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, when their respective companies merged. They got to know each other and “the rest, as they say, is history.”
John relocated to the Pacific Northwest, married and started working as a consultant for companies like Genoa, Caterpillar and T-Mobile.
“I love it here,” he said. “Of course, it’s very similar to Vancouver. Coming here, it’s such a natural extension, it feels like home.”
John’s joining OneAccord came about as it usually does: He met the company’s co-founder, Jeff Rogers. A mutual friend told John multiple times that he had a lot in common with Jeff and suggested they meet. When they finally did, John saw the potential for a good fit.
“I really liked what OneAccord was doing,” said John. “I was under the impression that there was a strong sense of morals and ethics and that the people were just good to be around. And it really did parallel what I did in the past. Those three things are rare to find for me.”
When he’s not turning around businesses, John turns around everything else.
“I’ve got a lot of interests. They’re all tangible, hands-on things. I restore cars, I’m working on one now.” He’s talking about his grandfather’s 1957 Chevy Belair, the car that brought John home from the hospital when he was born, the car he fell in love with at the age of three and received as a gift when he turned 16.
John also enjoys projects around the house, like extensions and renovations, as well as painting with oils, which he’s been doing as a self-taught artist for 30 years.
A man with many interests, John sees one common thread among them all: outcomes. In geology, business and his hobbies, everything is about transformation.