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Agent of Change; Nick Johnson ’05

Nick Johnson

In the course of his career, Nick Johnson ’05 has gone from installing electric meters to instilling workers with a sense of respect for each other and the need to accept change.

Trained as an instrument and controls technician, Johnson took
a job with a local utility company after technical school. He soon
became active with his union, eventually serving as senior steward on the executive board. Realizing that he was inherently a “people person,” Johnson left his technician’s tools behind to become a labor relations consultant.

“Management recognized that I had the workforce’s respect when I represented them, and that I had the ability to look at things from both the labor side and the management side,” Johnson says.

In 2000, the utility where Johnson had worked for 19 years was acquired. He saw the acquisition as a signal to set out on his own.

“I’d always wanted to have my own business and decided it was time to do something for me,” he says. So he formed NVJ, a diversitymanagement consulting firm. Through NVJ, Johnson offers seminars, lectures and consulting services that make the connection between changing demographics, the evolving marketplace and profits.

Along the way Johnson had earned some credits from two area colleges. And even though his practical experience spoke volumes to his clients, he knew that earning his degree would add to his credibility. “It just made sense to finish up,” he says.

So he enrolled in Albright College’s Degree Completion Program. “Albright’s program was convenient for me because I was working a
full-time job and taking care of two children,” Johnson says. He received his bachelor’s degree in organizational behavior and applied psychology in 2005.

Today his client list includes manufacturers, financial institutions, colleges and nonprofits. Working from his home office in Sinking Spring, Pa., Johnson conducts up to 100 sessions a year, everything from one-on-one consulting, to seminars for groups of 25 and auditorium- sized lectures.

“Typically my clients have an employee relations or discrimination issue, or they have people who are not working well together. Part of what causes that is that the world is changing demographically and with regard to the marketplace. They’re looking for guidance on how to evolve, change and help their valued employees stay productive.”

While many other diversity training organizations focus on awareness of peoples’ differences, Johnson says he looks at it from a business perspective. “I help my clients and their employees connect the dots between changing demographics, a changing marketplace and profits,” he says.

“Companies are in business to make money, but if they’re not sensitive and they don’t embrace change, they’re not going to capture the market.”

– Bob Shade

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