John Cosgrove rose through the ranks of the military and later the financial services industry before he moved back to Chattanooga in 2006 at age 52 to start yet another career.
At the urging of Bob Corker and others, Cosgrove ultimately started The Leadership Workshop and went back to college at age 59 to earn a doctorate in leadership.
"I had six grandchildren watch me walk across the stage (at Andrews College)," Cosgrove recalls.
Cosgrove is using his experience and education to pursue his passion of developing better leadership in organizations, which the 64-year-old executive insists is critical for businesses, non-profits and communities. Cosgrove focuses on purpose-based decisions and commands and is currently writing a book on values-driven leadership.
Cosgrove is bringing his leadership skills to his new job as executive director of the Aegis Foundation, a 7-year-old nonprofit stated by the late Tom Edd Wilson to help provide financial and business support for area law enforcement agencies.
"I am passionate about helping others realize their potential and improving leadership in our communities, which directly relates to the work Aegis achieves," Consgrove says.
Aegis has helped in the past to fund law enforcement agencies with training and equipment. Cosgrove said the foundation will continue to look for ways to aid in supporting the work of area police agencies, both city and county, with accredited leadership training programs.
"In our world of constant change where things are moving much quicker, there are some things that have to keep us anchored, stable and on course and those are our values," he says. "Most of the people who are derailed, don't lack the skills for their job, it's because their values are not aligned with the organization and their job."
Cosgrove's own values were shaped growing up in Michigan as the son of the longest-tenured Michigan State Police officer and later at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. During his military service, he commanded a company in the Presidential Honor Guard, distinguished himself as an Airborne Ranger Infantry officer and earned a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin. He was also an honor graduate of the United States Army Ranger School – generally acknowledged as of the most difficult schools in the Armed Forces.
Upon leaving the Army, Dr. Cosgrove entered the business sector as a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch. He was promoted to director and manager in Chattanooga, where he was twice recognized as the best manager in the Merrill Lynch system. Cosgrove later became the president of Mellon Bank Financial Advisors, and then senior vice president for UBS.