Clients and associates who have worked with John Forrester have good things to say about their experience.

My goal, and the goal of Forrester & Associates, is to ensure every client becomes a reference!

John is one of those rare individuals who utilizes not just coaching techniques, and his own experiences as an executive, but also has the ability to tap into the collective ethos of our time to create context for the coachee beyond his/her own worldview.  In addition to conventional methods, John will also use literature and past leaders to illuminate the behaviors and suggest new vantage points.  While John is direct and does not mince words, he connects with his audience and imbues trust quickly.  His methods include observation, direct feedback and detailed notes and themes – which are invaluable.  What I love the most is that John is relentless at working every angle to see a problem or help a strategy to meet its objectives.   He does all this in a way that is kind, wise and empathetic.

Jennifer Tice, Fortune 500 Talent Executive

As an Elevate mentor for the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, I see a lot of local companies in need of coaching and all forms of support. Recently, when meeting with a local investor, he expressed concern about a company he had invested in and the conflict that had arisen between two owner-operators. In short, both were heavily involved in the day-to-day operations, both had stopped speaking to the other and both were having a deleterious effect on the morale of the employees. Worse, they had placed a significant investment/employment opportunity in harm’s way.

After hearing about the challenges facing this young company, I recommended engaging John Forrester to help resolve the conflict and he did just that. In John’s words, “I never tried to flesh out the understory of their conflict. Rather, I forced them to focus on the business opportunity and look forward, not back; I suppose they may need a therapist (not my line of work) if they start looking into the past. In particular, I asked them to project forward and imagine how they would feel if their inability to work together negated their hard work or, worse, had caused the business to fail. We had several conversations together and laid the groundwork for the future of their business relationship. I suspect it was a sobering experience for the two of them.”

These two are now working together and, to use a little jargon, “leaning in.” And I might add that the business is back on track.

Dawn Walker, Mentor – Asheville Chamber of Commerce

As a cofounder of Meridian Ocean Services, I knew we would not only need funding but also expertise.  In 2014, our one outside investor recommended John and, soon thereafter, we engaged John to help us establish our presence in the subsea inspection marketplace.  John’s value to Meridian proved so substantial that, in late 2015, we invited him to join Meridian as Chairman and to guide us and the company.  His leadership helped enormously and ultimately led to a satisfactory exit for our three cofounders.

Subsequently, as Manager of Subsea Projects at Oceaneering, I engaged John to help establish sales process and a sales “Playbook.”  Here again, John’s insight and experience proved significant in helping us better manage our people, our opportunities and our process.  In short, he again delivered – so much so that my manager, VP of Subsea Projects, declared that John was an “outlier,” i.e., a consultant who really added value.

To this day, I seek John’s opinion and consider my relationship with him not only professional but personal.  He has helped me and I have absolutely no reservations about recommending him. He is, after all, an “outlier.”

Patrick Donovan, Director of Offshore Services GOM, Subsea 7

John was initially engaged to review the company with a focus of streamlining job descriptions and helping me remove myself from day-to-day tasks. As an entrepreneur I needed clarity. I thought this would be a matter of 2-3 sessions, read a report and then discuss ideas for moving forward. Instead, we got so much more.

John took the time to speak with every employee, evaluated their strengths and shuffled job descriptions. While he was doing this, John created a new energy in the company, offered solutions where people were facing roadblocks and created one-on-one personal training to help employees reach the next level.

During this time, John spent a lot of time as my mentor in leadership. I now have the right people in the right seats and have more time to work on the business, as opposed to in it. Once you have the pleasure of meeting John, you will understand that this man is truly a “Trusted Advisor.” John honestly cares about every aspect of his client relationship. It’s not about the money, it’s about the satisfaction of truly helping others reach their potential. I am proud to call John Forrester a wonderful mentor and a friend.

Claire Evans, Founder & Chief Executive, amaZulu

John began working with us in 2015 as a general business consultant and helped us sharpen our sales focus, develop business processes and enhance teamwork. In January of 2017, I decided to take some time away from the business and asked John to assume general management responsibility for the company. He remained in that capacity until year-end and in the process helped my management team grow individually and collectively. I returned to find a more capable, effective and motivated team… and, lest I forget, the team posted some pretty impressive sales numbers for the year.

John remains involved with our company at a strategic level and he and I have formed a friendship based on our mutual respect for one another. I’m happy to recommend John to any business needing help with strategy, general management or people development. He really helped my company.

Abram Huber, Founder & Chief Executive, Global Innovation

In February 2015, John joined Meridian Ocean Services as a consultant when we were struggling to find our place in the subsea inspection marketplace. John sharpened our focus and helped us find our niche in Oil & Gas, which led to our becoming a leading service provider in the industry. John’s guidance and contributions were such that we asked him to step in as Chairman of Meridian starting in November of 2015.

John’s leadership led ultimately to the purchase of Meridian by Oceaneering International in July of 2016. His commitment, support and insight proved critical to Meridian finding its groove, earning the respect of the market and becoming an acquisition target. I would recommend John to any company in need of guidance – whether sales, marketing, strategic direction, operational efficiency, or certainly financial. It was a pleasure to work with John and if I have the opportunity, I will certainly engage him again.

Nat Spencer, Cofounder, Meridian Ocean Services

John assisted greatly in the refinement of our revenue model, our value proposition and our sales process at PlanetHS. His sales training sessions and coaching clearly advanced the skills and techniques of our sales staff.

John essentially became a member of our management team and his commitment and attitude were always as if PlanetHS were his company, rather than a client. Thank you for all of your help.

Joe Hawkins, Founder/President, PlanetHS, LLC

John is the consummate professional and a great leader.  If John is involved in something, I want to hear about it. He is a terrific strategist and really understands the tactical linchpins to execute on sound strategic plans.

I highly recommend John to anyone who is looking for an honest partner that will keep you constantly thinking about how to improve “things”. He has keen insight into a lot of different business fields and that rounds him out as a great consultant.

I would eagerly join John in any business venture (other than golf)!

Brent Hutton, President, Brunswick Billiards & Life Fitness

I have known John for nearly 20 years, working alongside him as a board member of Bright Holidays as well as working for him as a client of Husk Jennings. In my opinion, John sets the gold standard for leadership. He is a superb communicator, excellent mentor and savvy business strategist. People want to follow him; he builds relationships based on trust and honesty. His passion for excellence is clear, as is his drive for positive outcomes. He is a hands-on change agent who seeks to do the right thing for all concerned. He is thoughtful and well read, always expanding his boundaries of insight, experience and knowledge. Finally, he is deeply committed to family and community, and both John and his wife Leigh work tirelessly to give back to those less fortunate. He is one of the most grounded and well-rounded people I have ever met!

Melanie Husk, SVP, Marketing and Communications, Baptist Health 

John first became involved with Load King Manufacturing d/b/a LK Industries as a consultant engaged to rethink the company’s sales and marketing efforts. After several months, he joined the company and launched a sales effort that restored customer (namely Starbucks Coffee) confidence, landed new customers such as Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Jamba Juice and Target, and, in a span of four years, drove revenues from $32 million to $60 million.

As COO, John led quality and safety initiatives that, respectively, earned formal recognition from customers as a preferred supplier, and reduced worker compensation claims to a 10 year low.

Norman Sanders, former CFO, Load King Manufacturing

I had the pleasure of working with John while at Harris Corporation and found his ability to drive change and motivate teams to achieve results unmatched. John was brought in as a consultant to help with a struggling business unit and to drive positive and profitable change. John’s consultative style is to break down complex business decisions into manageable parts with strategic outcomes.

John has the unique ability to quickly analyze an organization to determine strengths and weaknesses and to provide both tactical and strategic plans that motivate everyone on the team. Through his insight, I was able get control of a messy situation that resulted in the successful spin-off of our business unit.

I continue to use many of his strategies for managing my teams today. I was able to expand my knowledge of sales strategies, interpersonal relationships and overall leadership skills while working with John. Most importantly, John created an atmosphere of trust and I always knew he had my back, in good times and in bad. I was lucky to have worked with John and I can safely say that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for his tutelage.

Steve Antone, VP of Sales, HEAT Software

I had the great pleasure to work for John at Mars Electronics where I learned so much from him that I really believe he was instrumental in me becoming the business person I am today. John exudes such wisdom and calm authority that you want to do business with him and know he will treat you fairly and ethically at all times. I had absolutely no hesitation writing this recommendation and I hope you get a chance to work with John at some point because I know you will benefit.

David Blaza, Managing Director, North America at Aspencore

A couple of years ago counterfeiting became a serious problem in our industry. There was quite a bit of worried talk about it, but little action. John took a strong leadership position and, along with legal action, sent Pool & Billiard Magazine two articulate, illustrated articles. One warned Predator Cue buyers of the problem, and used photos to compare the real thing with the rip-offs. The other presented a practical plan for the industry, to be used to combat the problem. Both got results, both here and in China. Not only did his firm benefit substantially, but so did the entire industry. John’s actions were an excellent example of leaders who lead.

Tom Shaw, Managing Editor, Pool and Billiard Magazine

When I saw your email, it brought a big smile to my face and to my soul.  I have to tell you that your help, insight and consistent thoughtful encouragement has made a huge impact to my confidence and arguably, my life.  I actually listen to my instincts and remember your advice.  I have had occasion to reflect on our strategy of “hope real hard for better results” and it still makes me laugh.

Retired Executive, Harris Corporation

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.”
Roger Staubach