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Turning Hardship into Differentiation (wsg John Katona) – EP 124

Turning Hardship Into Differentiation | John Katona, Industrial Engineer at General Motors and CEO JKNK Studios, joins host Gregg Garrett to discuss his unique journey in life that includes a paralyzing car accident that re-rerouted, and in some ways accelerated, his journey. Of course, John speaks about his top three ranging from his father who taught him a unique business model, to his pastor who introduce him to making music with others, to an advisor who fostered a passion for engineering. And you have to hear what he says about the intimate nature of creating music with a team.

About John Katona

John Katona is a human factors engineer at GM, with a bachelors and masters degree in industrial and systems engineering from Oakland University.  He is also a record producer, runs JK (Not Kidding) Studios, and founded Bird Fight Records.  His other passion besides engineering and music is accessibility, both for the future of mobility and in his studio, which is completely wheelchair accessible.

Show Highlights

During this episode:

Learning to be resilient [1:20]

Starting is the hardest part of a transformation [3:30]

John Katona – an emerging leader [5:24]

Welcoming, John Katona [7:54]

The “Top Three”

Joe Katona, John’s Dad, who taught him how to build a life around a passion [10:46]

Robert Van Til, who fostered a passion for engineering [16:05]

Pastor Kevin Cook, who introduced John to making music with others [20:54]

Many colleagues and bosses [25:45]

The importance of inclusivity [27:30]

The broad topic of mobility [33:45]

Fight for what you deserve [34:15]

Launching a music business [39:37]

You have to hear this…

The importance of valuing people [44:40]

Stay in touch with John! [46:30]

Additional Information

Contact John Katona:

Contact Gregg Garrett:

Contact CGS Advisors:


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