John Cook loves Lake St. Clair and the Grosse Pointe community. “It just gets in your blood,” the area native says.
“I believe my parents helped lead me to believe in free-market values,” says John. His father worked his entire career at AT&T and his mother worked as a homemaker and office manager for a steel company.
Church and sports were John’s priorities in his youth. He married his high school sweetheart Susan 32 years ago. They have one daughter, Olivia.
With an MBA from Wayne State University, John followed in his father’s footsteps at AT&T. He worked as a Yellow Pages account executive for 17 years before the internet devastated the industry.
Embracing the change, John reinvented his career. He took a job in the health benefits industry and then set out on his own.
“I’ve always had a dream to run my own business,” he says, “and after about two years, I got the opportunity to buy a block of business from a friend who was retiring. I decided to bet on myself, buying it and starting my own business.”
Five years ago, he merged his company, Benepro, and he has continued to grow the business.
After John took over at Benepro, the company was named one of Michigan’s “coolest places to work” by Crain’s Detroit Business.
The success of John’s business only deepens his concerns about Michigan’s prospects in 2023.
“The total change in our political landscape will have a devastating long-term effect on our ability to lower taxes,” John says. “Michigan ranks in the bottom half of states in economic growth. Our education system ranks in the bottom half of states as well. Finally, Michigan’s green energy push will seriously impact our ability to produce affordable energy going forward.”
Why does John Cook support the Mackinac Center?
“I support the Mackinac Center because I truly believe in its mission,” he says. “Specifically, in the area of education, with its school choice initiatives. The Mackinac Center focuses on limiting the size and scope of Michigan’s bloated government. The Mackinac Center supports Michigan workers through advancing and promoting right-to-work. Finally, the Center protects individual property rights. These are just a few of the many worthy causes that the Mackinac Center fights for and I support.”