Jon Golnik was born in Middletown, CT. He lived in many different places as a child that included time in Tennessee, New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Florida. After graduating from public high school in central Florida in 1984, Jon took a year off before attending college. His parents encouraged him to spend his “year off’ wisely so for 6 months, he studied Spanish in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Returning home for Christmas, he soon left again having secured an internship in Chicago sponsored by Mayor Harold Washington’s administration. The internship supported young people who would go to live and work in Chicago’s Hispanic neighborhoods and Jon volunteered at Casa Central, one of the largest Hispanic social service agencies in Chicago that provides programs for all ages.
In the fall of 1985, Jon left Florida to attend Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. He was almost forced to return to Florida following his freshman year because his father had lost his job and could no longer afford tuition payments. Fortunately, by virtue of Dartmouth’s financial aid office and his ability to find both on campus and off campus work, Jon was able to continue his studies. Though his schedule was a full one, with many semesters working 40 plus hours a week on top of a full load of courses, he graduated, with his class, in the spring of 1989 with an honors degree in History. Jon worked for a year as a paralegal at a Wall Street law firm and then attended Johns Hopkins University where in 1992 he received a Masters degree in International Studies that focused on International Economics and European Studies. In 1993, he graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA focusing on multinational management.
Upon graduating from business school, Jon began work as a foreign currency trader at first in New York, and later he made his way to Boston to be closer to his fiancée. He married his wife Phyllis, whom he met in business school, in 1997. Their son Zeke was born in 1999. In May of 2001, they moved to Carlisle, MA and their daughter, Tillie, was born later that year. Leaving the established corporate world in 2003, Jon started two small businesses. While running a small business occupies most of Jon’s time, he does spend his free time coaching his children’s sports teams and being a very hands-on dad.
Though active in politics while in high school and college, Jon grew increasingly disillusioned with political process. The ‘name calling’ that accompanied the increasing partisanship of the country's politics succeeded in drowning out the critical issues of our times. Today’s challenges are some of the most important to confront the US population in a generation and yet our elected officials have not been adequately addressing them, further alienating people like Jon and others who know that there has to be a better way forward.
From healthcare and deficit spending to immigration and Afghanistan, the 2012 election will be the most important one in the last 30 years. This is not a time to be complacent or dismissive. Jon feels that now, more than ever, is a time for all of us who have been disillusioned and frustrated to step up, make our voices heard and have an impact.
Jon is not a politician, but this is much more of a positive than a drawback. Coming from the outside allows Jon to bring an innovative and refreshing perspective to the challenges we face. His worries are your worries; he is your neighbor, your child’s sports coach and your friend. Join him in creating a new type of elected leader.