Attendees of the Jogging with John running group. Left to right: Soren Ryherd - Working Planet; Anna Barcelos – 1024; Steve Etchells - TwoBolt; Raj Bellani - RISD; Tino Chow - Big New Ideas; John Maeda - RISD; Mark Kane - Bernstein Financial; Amy Lorinovich - Comcast; Nick Decesare - TwoBolt; Steve Cronin - Mercury.
By Kimberley Donoghue PBN Web Editor Twitter: @kdonog
PROVIDENCE – Entrepreneurs are pressed for time so why not kill two birds – fitness and brainstorming - with one stone?
The “Jogging with John” group began in July 2008 when John Maeda was appointed president of the Rhode Island School of Design. Steve Cronin, president and CEO of Mercury Print and Mail in Pawtucket, approached Maeda after a speaking event.
“I told him that I’d love to continue the conversation. So John said to me: ‘Well, do you run?’ ” Cronin said. The two met up the next morning at 6 a.m. outside of the Hilton in downtown Providence and it “just grew from that.”
Cronin first brought along a graphic artist from his team, and then they started opening the group up to the Providence Geeks and others.
Now, the “regulars” range from a freelance photographer, researchers, small business owners to employees of GTECH, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, and Comcast.
“The group remains very eclectic and really focused on ingredients for success – in many cases [we talk about] how technology is going to be driving future success for our companies and our communities,” Cronin said.
Three years later, the group now runs a 3-mile route around the East Side – avoiding running up College Hill – and, although John Maeda no longer goes on every jog, he does join in once every six weeks or so.
The about half-hour run ends in Wayland Square where the joggers bounce ideas around – on leadership, design, education, etc. - over coffee and apple turnovers at L’Artisan Café.
“One of the topics we’re talking about right now is infographics – how you tell the best story,” said Cronin.
Runners meet Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 6 a.m., at the corner of Angell St. and Elmgrove Ave., near the Starbucks. Those just interested in the brainstorming session are invited to join the group at 6:30 a.m. at the café.