In 1984, John was working at Cypress Gardens’ WGTO when he got a call with an offer to do mornings at WPLA in Plant City. After he got there, it didn’t take long until he picked up a nickname, “The Jumper,” because of his early morning high energy level, and the moniker has stuck with him ever since. He was also a popular fill-in on the station’s morning talk show, This‘n That, when regular host Al Berry was away.
Work with a Polk County specialty advertising firm pulled John out of radio in 1987 followed by a period spent teaching at a private school. When the school closed due to financial difficulties, he landed a job with the Lakeland Parks and Recreation Department. After his wife took a claims job with Geico’s new branch office in Lakeland in September 1996, he hired on, too, a few months later in the recently formed telephone sales office. However, sales wasn’t what he wanted to do, so for 3½ years he worked with the hiring team until moving to the company’s claims division in 2000.
Since 1987 when he was first introduced to Toastmasters, a non-profit educational club that promotes improved communications through effective public speaking and leadership skills training, John has given well over 200 speeches, competed in a few dozen speech contests, and has achieved the level of Distinguished Toastmaster, the highest level a member can achieve. He is also a past president of the Lakeland club and current Area 13 Governor.
Today (2007), John lives in Lakeland, still works for Geico, and is very active with his church, Highland Park Church of the Nazarene. He’s never forgotten his love for radio though and, if there is any aspect of the business that he would love to do again, it would be sports play-by-play or sports talk.
1984 - 1987 WPLA (On Air Personality)