Dunleavy administration choice sold yogurt, coffee, supplements and more

The announcement naming John Quick as commissioner of administration for Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy said one of his “signature achievements” was cutting a $5 million deficit to $400,000 at the Kenai Peninsula Borough “simply by finding efficiencies.”

Nice trick if you can manage it.

But that’s not what happened, according to the Kenai borough budget. Somebody is trying to market this as something it is not.

What happened was that the assembly raised property taxes by a slight amount, assessments increased, the borough drew on savings, some employees left and Mayor Charlie Pierce made some vetoes. Plus, the deficit, with the exact number always a moving target, was closer to $3 million or $4 million, according to reports in the Kenai Peninsula Clarion.

Quick, who is in his mid-30s, worked on Mayor Charlie Pierce’s 2017 campaign and was hired as chief of staff a year ago, his first government position.

In announcing Quick’s hiring, Pierce said, “He was a high level director at Samaritan's Purse, owned coffee shops and now focuses on business & marketing consulting work.”

The recent announcement from the Dunleavy transition team picks up on that theme: “Quick has also found success as an entrepreneur, launching and selling multiple successful businesses, an experience that provided him with expertise in organizational structures, team-building, and hard work. Quick holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northwest University.”

Quick has not managed a large and complex organization like the Alaska Department of Administration or held onto various small businesses Outside for extended periods.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business in 2005 from Northwest University, a small Christian college near Seattle, and a master’s degree from Wayland Baptist University in 2012. He also said he attended Fuller Theological Seminary from 2005-2007.

In its alumni magazine in 2012, Northwest University included a note about Quick and his wife, Heidi, who is from Nikiski. They had met while both were students at Northwest. “John currently co-owns and is the COO of three businesses that have four locations: Anthem Coffee and Tea, Elements Frozen Yogurt, and Joeseppis On the Go!,” the magazine said in 2012 of his Tacoma-area enterprises.

That same year Quick listed himself as president and CEO of John Quick Consulting on a “brand yourself” post. “With ten years of experience in the non-profit sector, he was responsible for fundraising, overseeing multi-million dollar budgets, managing strategic programs, and supervising hundreds of staff,” the site said.

A few years later he referred to himself as a “serial entrepreneur” on a website for another venture and said he had “started up and scaled five businesses, most recently moving from brick and mortar to online businesses.”

In 2015, Northwest named Quick its Alumnus of the Year and its Business Alumnus of the Year.

On Oct. 25, 2015, Northwest said in a blog entry that Quick addressed the college students and said, “You don’t have to wait until you graduate to do something radical for Jesus.”

“Quick then proposed a radical idea of his own to the students of NU by giving them an opportunity to send him an idea for a start-up business any time before November 23, 2015. After that date, he will choose a winner and help them start their business with up to $100,000 in startup costs and six months of consulting.”

I don’t know what became of that radical idea.

In 2015, the summer edition of the alumni magazine had described Quick as a Seattle entrepreneur who was then “COO and co-owner of Seattle Research Labs, a wellness and nutritional supplement company.”

The company website has been taken down, but some information on it is preserved on the Internet Archive. It says, “Seattle Research Labs owns many of the leading wellness and nutritional supplements on the market. These brands include Premium Pure Garcinia Cambogia and Premimum Pure Colon Cleanse. We are also the owner of one of the nation’s top-selling weight loss supplements on Amazon.com.”

Quick also spoke at at least one seminar on how to sell products on Amazon, with this as the promotional text: “As a leader in Amazon selling, John established his name as the go-to personality when entering into e-commerce. His clients read as a who’s who list of people that have found success building 6 figure e- commerce businesses. His style and knowledge sets him apart from the rest. In this workshop John will be showing you the step by step process you need to build a successful Amazon business. If you are interested in making money online—this is a must-see class.”

The winter 2015 edition of the Northwest alumni magazine didn’t list Seattle Research Labs as his business, but mentioned another company Quick had started, Empire Consulting.

“John recently joined the Northwest University Foundation Board of Trustees and is the Founder and CEO of Empire Consulting, a marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) firm with clients all over the globe,” Northwest said.

The Empire Consulting website has also been taken down, but parts remain accessible on the Internet Archive. Quick said of himself that as CEO of Empire Consulting, he “works with coffee shops, $750 million companies and everything in between.”

The website claimed the company was “#1 in local, multi-location and national marketing.”

“Empire Consulting will help your company execute marketing, social media, paid ads, blog, lead generation and SEO strategies to gain and retain more customers - all with one single tool! More customers equals more revenue! John has an extensive background in both successful brick and mortar and online businesses,” the company said a couple of years ago.

In an article he wrote in 2016 about the life of an entrepreneur, he said that it was not for those who want a steady paycheck, but for those willing to take risks.

Dermot Cole2 Comments