ShipMate Spotlight: Meet Our Animal Tracking Family Man
We feel fortunate to be able to humble brag about our ShipMates every month. We continue our ShipMate Spotlight series by introducing JJ Johnson — 3rd Party System Administrator, problem solver, collaborator, former Marine, father and animal tracker.
In the office, JJ can be found being kind to everyone, telling dad jokes, drinking coffee, collaborating with all departments, working hard, and having fun.
Find out why JJ loves coming to work at VeriShip every day.
When did you start at VeriShip?
I started April 12, 2017. But really, I started long before that in my heart.
What excites you about working at VeriShip?
- The people. I legitimately enjoy getting up every day and coming to work with my coworkers. The talent is evident, and everyone is driven to excel in what they do. There’s little to no egos, and it’s a pleasure to work with everyone.
- The work. Every day I am met with a new challenge and a new problem to solve. For me, it is a great sense of pride and accomplishment when I can work with my customers (re: all staff at VeriShip) to solve a problem that is impacting their day to day. That’s what makes work “worth it” to me. Whether it’s automating a manual process, developing a creative solution to a problem, maximizing utility of our technology, simplifying existing processes, or just helping to provide insight into their work, it is very rewarding and exciting.
- Micro-entrepreneurship. What excites me the most is when I can understand how you (VeriShip employees) work, and together we create a brand-new approach to solve a problem or obtain the desired results. Sometimes that means reevaluating the “why” in “why are we doing this?”, but it always means that we are never satisfied with status quo. Let’s take one step back so that we can take a mile-long leap forward.
What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
The coolest thing I’m working on right now is implementing a scalable quoting solution (CPQ) that can be handed off to business intelligence and ultimately accounting. This will allow us to implement an air-tight quote-to-cash process that can scale as we grow.
What’s your secret talent that no one knows about?
I can track living things. As in, follow their trail when there doesn’t appear to be a trail at all. Let me know if you are ever missing your pet. Actually, I just had a business idea. For a fee, let me know if you pet is missing and I’ll find it.
What are you passionate about?
Family. Particularly my two daughters, Lily (9) and Lucy (8). Never have two individuals humbled me like these two have, in their own unique way, and I hope to someday “grow up” to be like them.
Favorite vacation spot?
Townsville. Australia. Best vacation ever. Fantastic beaches, amazing people, great outdoor adventure options.
What’s the best concert you ever attended?
- Pearl Jam, 1998 in St. Louis. Eddie Vedder has no equal.
- Vanilla Ice, circa 1999 at the Blue Note in Columbia, MO. Some would say he was washed up. After that concert, I would say that this dude can freaking party.
Who inspires you?
My mother. Cliché answer, but it’s true. She grew up dirt poor on a dirt-poor farm with an immigrant father in Northwest Missouri, to become an award winning elementary school teacher in the St. Joe School District. She has never had a bad opinion about any person, never heard her complain, is the single hardest worker I have ever witnessed (even at 70 years old), is unwavering in her conviction, morals and principles, and will drop everything to help my sister and I, and our children. She will find the positive in every situation and to this day holds me accountable in doing the same.
What’s your earliest memory?
Christmas at my grandmother’s house. Santa brought me a He-Man figurine.
What do you like most about working at VeriShip?
The people. Even Justin Watley.
What three words would you use to describe our culture?
- Accountable (Meaning, there are so many talented people that I want the work I provide to be on par with the work everyone else does.)
If you could master anything by tomorrow, what would it be?
Fatherhood. I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time. Either that or Golf. I don’t need to be PGA Tour -level. I just want to be able to hit the ball off the ground.
Do you have an office nickname? If you do, how did it come about?
J-quad. It came about because I don’t use exponents often and made a small, totally forgivable error ONE TIME, and then all of a sudden I’m J-quad.
If you could go back in time and give your 10-year old self advice, what would it be?
Don’t get caught up in what other people think. Maintain your integrity, do the right thing always no matter how hard it is, and be proud of the 10-year old you are.
If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
- Phil Martini. A very close friend of mine and member of my squad who passed away in Iraq in 2006.
- My daughters. I’m counting them as one but they are they pretty amazing and fun to eat with (if they like what I cooked).
- Abraham Lincoln. Who wouldn’t want to hear his folksy, back-woods wisdom and humor woven into stories about how he became one of the greatest transformational leaders in history?
- First Sergeant Edwin Clark. Single biggest Marine Corps influence on me, and a man that personified selfless leadership.
What song would you say best sums you up?
It’s Raining Tacos
Where is the furthest you have traveled?
According to Google Maps – Australia.
Our ShipMates are what make VeriShip a collaborative, intelligent, and fun place to work. Without each individual ShipMate, our Ship wouldn’t sail as smoothly as it does.
Get to know the people behind the magic and their contributing roles through our ShipMate Spotlight Interview series. Check out the previous ShipMate Spotlights, here.