John began his professional career in 1982 at Procter & Gamble, where he was a warehousing and distribution manager and a lead recruiter for new managers. While in college and at P&G, he earned an Army Officer Commission and served in the Missouri Army National Guard and the United States Army Reserves.
In 1986, John participated in a leveraged buyout of Cape Electrical Supply, a wholesale distributor of electrical supplies throughout the Midwest. He served as President for nine years and then remained a passive owner after recruiting and building the management team that lead the company through two decades of expansion and growth. A controlling interest in the business was sold in 2007 to Svoboda Collins, a Chicago based private equity group, in an $80 million transaction facilitated by investment banker, Harris Williams & Co.
The Daniel Family Office was established to invest the proceeds of the sale, typically in the form of early stage equity or convertible debt. The investments have been across multiple industries including biodiesel, medical software, organic fertilizer, urgent care medical service, biotech pharmaceutical, specialty sand, smart grid technology, hotel operations, integrated payment processing, revenue cycle management, and a variety of specialty hedge funds. Many of these private illiquid investments have been as a co-lead investor side by side with Mayson Capital Partners.
After he learned that his twin daughters were autistic, John initiated the JDFF Wealth Preservation Fund. The endowment strategy fund invests in a diversified portfolio of out of the mainstream liquid assets in an effort to maintain long term purchasing power for the lifelong care of the twins. The closely held fund also gives family and friends the option to have their investments managed side by side with his own liquid investment portfolio.
John was a college basketball coach at Washington University and at Southeast Missouri State University. He left college coaching after six years to participate in the development of the new Saxony Lutheran High School in Jackson, Missouri, where he served as the school’s first Director of Enrollment, Athletic Director, and Basketball Coach. He also coached Trinity Lutheran School, and his daughter Tess, to the National Lutheran Grade School Championship.
John’s father and grandfather were Lutheran Pastors. He has been trained and commissioned as a Stephen Minister at St. Andrew Lutheran Church. He served on the Board of Directors of Lutheran Family & Children’s Services and the Lutheran Chapel of Hope. He founded the Cape Girardeau Chapter of Volunteers for Income Tax Assistance, an organization that helps the disadvantaged and elderly file income tax returns.
John earned an M.B.A. in 1987 from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Engineering Management in 1982 from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.
John was raised in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau, Missouri as one of nine children. He now lives in Cape Girardeau with his wife, Kim, and six children: Maci, Tess, Ben, Luke, and the twins, Audrey and Anna.