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The Greater Millville Chamber of Commerce presented Tim Shannon with the 2015 Pride in Millville Award for his lifelong dedication to the Holly City.


Here is the text from the presentation speech by Board Member Gerald Covella on May 21, 2016 ...

John Knoop, Jr.

A Unanimous Choice for the Pride in Millville Award:  

John Knoop's nomination for the 2016 Pride in Millville Award w as unanimously approved by the Executive Board of the Greater Millville Chamber of Commerce. His commitment to the Holly City and his work as a businessman and educator has had an enormous impact on many residents within our region.


John Knoop, Jr. - 2016 Pride in Millville Award Winner >>

John Knoop, Jr. receives the 2016 Pride in Millville Award from Chamber President Larry Malone and Executive Director Earl Sherrick at May 21 awards ceremony.

2016 Pride in Millville Award:

Although retired, at least from the corporate world, John is co-founder and managing partner of AKziom consulting.  

     He was born in Philadelphia, raised in Leesburg, NJ, Eastern Shore Maryland and then Delmont. NJ.  He has fond memories of learning about mechanical principles and skills from his paternal grandfather, who held many patents.  John was a Boy Scout in Troop 100 in Delmont and was honored with the life saving award that was presented by Governor of New Jersey. As a boy John worked in his father’s sawmill, pumped gas and did whatever he could to earn money. With six sisters, all younger, money was scarce in the Knoop household.

     John went to Millville High School and played minor roles on the football team.  He was the smallest member of the 1952 team that started the record setting winning streak.

     He married Mary Bowers, his YMCA Dance sweetheart.  They had three wonderful children: MaryLinda, Diane and John III.  The clan has continued to grow – he now has 6 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.  He enjoys having all of them over for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.

     John is the number one fan of his grandchildren sporting events.  Lucas and the triplets keep him “on the road again.”  The youth in his family have given him opportunities to both learn and teach about work and life with needed teamwork. 


     John began his regular job career at Armstrong Cork and then Wheaton Industries.  He remained at Wheaton and it’s successors for 51 years.  He was a skilled craftsman – Mold Maker until they asked him to be the Payroll Manager.  Eventually John became the Director of Labor Relations and oversaw labor/employment matters for 13 union plants and 13 non-union plants.  He was known for his ability and tenacity to handle situations others would not try …. It was “send John”.

     While working full time and raising a family, he served 14 years in the Naval Air Reserve becoming a flight crew Plane Captain and Chief Petty Officer. 

     Because he worked shift work, time with the family had to be scheduled.  That’s when he and the family became ski bums.  Ski trips became a key family event and are still part of their lives now….including his 3 year old great-granddaughter Haley.   If you don’t like skiing or at least snowboarding, you aren’t in the family. 

     After John decided to attend college at Cumberland County College, something had to give.  He reluctantly gave up the Navy Reserve activities.  When he was honored by the college for 4.0 grades, it appeared in the local newspaper. John became known by Frank Wheaton, Sr. and Neal Slack. They inquired about him and that’s when he became the Payroll Manager.  John didn’t stop his education at Cumberland County; he went on to Rutgers and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Management.  Continuing his learning and enhancing his professional credentials, John received his Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and recently received his SHRM-SCP certification.

     As a human resource & business professional, John has been requested to serve on a number of community committees and projects.  He was a charter member with Leadership Cumberland County.  With his skilled trade background, he was on several school advisory boards. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Vineland YMCA and serves on several Workforce Initiative Boards (WIB’s), School-to-Work Committee and other workforce development committees.    

Currently he is on the Executive Board for the Human Resources Association, the Garden State Council Board of Directors (serving HR professionals in NJ), the Millville Industrial Commission and the Economic Development Board. 

John has held many roles in the Human Resource Association and served as President.  He served as President of the International Management Council in Vineland/Millville, was recognized as the recipient of their Leadership Award and obtained a Certified Manager status through James Madison University.

     John has been an adjunct professor at Cumberland County College and is currently still an adjunct professor at Burlington County College.  He has taught the SHRM Learning System to help other HR professionals receive their certification.  John has been a speaker at HR conferences and various other organizations – especially on labor relations and union matters. 

     In addition to teaching, John is an Advisor to the Student Chapter at Cumberland County College and has volunteered for formal mentoring programs.  He is always proud to see those he taught, mentored or guided through their career become successful and contributing citizens.

     Although he had a strong commitment to his career, family, skiing, and students, John finds time to help when needed.  He is a perpetual Red Cross donor.  He has helped coat drives for Code Blue, food drives for the needy and Toys for Tots and many other fundraisers and helping hands.

     Due to his knowledge, commitment and involvement, John received the Human Resource Association “HR Professional Excellence Award.”  He then went on to be nominated for the Delaware Valley HR Professional of the Year.  Later he was honored with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” – which was the first time it was awarded to anyone.  The International Management Council has recognized him as a recipient of their Leadership Award. 

     AKziom Consulting, formerly A-K Consultants, Inc. came about in 1988 while at Wheaton.  John never felt secure with just one job.  After all, he was still on his probationary period for all of the 51 years with the Wheaton Companies.

     Traveling is one thing he loves to do.  He traveled widely as part of the Naval Air Reserve and for Wheaton Industries. He has been to China (twice), Peru (twice), Italy, Spain, Ireland, England, Thailand, Bali. Galapagos, Greece, North and South Africa, Panama and many places within the United States. 

     I’m sure he is planning his next adventure.

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