John Gongos, the founder and CEO of Gongos Research, died yesterday at the age of 51, after having been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma last week.
Gongos was born in Sandusky, Ohio, and after completing his BS in Marketing at Miami University-Ohio and his MBA in Marketing/Quantitative Analysis at the University of Cincinnati, worked for Nationwide Insurance for three years, latterly as Senior Research Analyst. Following spells in senior roles at Survey Data Research and Research Data Analysis, he set up consumer specialist Gongos Research in 1991.
Described by the firm’s COO Camille Nicita as a ‘hands on CEO’, Gongos met every prospective employee before they were hired, and in 2009 he formed the ‘Gongos Gives’ program, to provide staff with a platform for community volunteerism.
While running the company, Gongos also served on the Board of Directors for the Council for American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO), whose Management Conference he co-chaired just last month. As an alumnus of Miami University, he regularly addressed students on marketing research and played an active role in the recruitment of fellow alumni.
Nicita comments: ‘There are simply no words to describe the loss of our mentor, friend and leader. Twenty one years ago he set out to create a company that was an expression of who he was as a person. His essence is reflected in all of us at the company and because of that, his legacy will live on.’
Gongos is survived by his wife Anne, daughters Ali and Olivia, son Austin, mother JoAnn, sister Laura, and brother Jim. His funeral will be held at Kensington Community Church in Troy next Monday - Gongos Research will be closed for business that day as a mark of respect. Donations may be made to Kensington Community Church in Troy, Michigan.