Straight Talk from the Heartland: An Entrepreneur’s Memoir


John Torinus, Jr.

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While churning through the chapters of his memoir, it became clear that John Torinus was often in the role of change agent. Frequently, that meant starting a new business or fixing a broken organization in either the for-profit or non-profit worlds. He loves assembling a team of what he calls “wizards’ in different disciplines, shaping a strategy, and then turning them loose to achieve success.
Of course, there were losses amidst the wins along John’s entrepreneurial journey. Nevertheless, it was a fun ride. He considered entitling the book, “Everything I learned about business, I learned by screwing up.” Other business people said they could write a similar book. Straight Talk from the Heartland provides a compelling overview of a life well lived.
About the author:
John Torinus Jr., owner and chairman of 500-person Wisconsin manufacturing company, has dug deep into a wide range of public policy issues pivotal to the health of the U.S. economy. His essays and commentary are grounded in experience in the real world. He is non-partisan, pragmatic and offers non-partisan solutions from a ground-level perspective in every piece he writes.
His experience includes 20 years as a business editor and columnist; a leveraged buyout of his manufacturing company; 20 years as its CEO; founder of three startup ventures; angel investor in 15 other startups; director of several dozen companies; a Congressional Fellowship; and three years as U.S. Marine officer. He has written two books on getting out-of-control health costs under control at private companies.
Torinus graduated from Yale in Industrial Administration and holds a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Stockholm. His graphics company has operated plants in the U.S., Mexico, China and India.