President and CEO of Hantz Group, Inc.
John Hantz, founder, president and CEO of Hantz Group, Incorporated, a full-service financial holding company serving 27,000 clients, revealed his entrepreneurial spirit at an early age. As a young boy growing up in the small town of Romeo, Michigan, Hantz used to spend his evenings scouring the local golf course for wayward balls, retrieving them from the dirty water, the weeds, and anywhere else that others wouldn’t bother or dare to venture. He would clean up the balls and make them almost like new again, and then set up in the morning to “resell” them to their original owners at a good price. By the time he entered high school, Hantz’s business ventures became a bit more sophisticated. While his friends were sleeping in for as long as possible, on cold winter mornings, John started a snow plowing business using an old Ford he had bought with money he had saved. He had negotiated some basic contracts with a dentist and a few local businesses, but the real value of his latest venture came to those “not so lucky neighbors” who found themselves buried by a snow storm, or a driver that somehow spun off into a ditch. Throughout his early years John struggled with dyslexia. It made school more difficult, but he was determined to overcome those challenges. He loved learning and continued to work hard, both in his businesses and in his education. He had an innate sense of recognizing strength in others, and was able to form alliances to help create the best team of mentors possible. He listened intently and was extremely focused on gleaning knowledge and lessons of life from his elders and those who had achieved success, especially if it was against all odds. Having combined this youthful entrepreneurial spirit with solid business expertise, Hantz, a Northwood University alumnus, is widely known for his innovative techniques, business acumen, and his ability to implement change. With a reputation as a visionary who sees opportunity in obstacles, his successful entrepreneurial endeavors have ranged from air charter, to lemonade. But it’s his prospective plans to transform urban wastelands into working, commercial farms through partnerships with progressive scientists, and the use of biofuels and windmill power that is generating the latest buzz. The Hantz Group was founded in 1988. Today, with 24 offices in Michigan and Ohio, it employs over 500 people and serves 27,000 clients. Prior to founding Hantz Group, John was a group vice president for the American Express Financial Advisors’ largest and most successful cluster in Metropolitan Detroit. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Economics from Northwood University in 1984, and later successfully completed Harvard Business School’s the Advanced Management Program (AMP) program. In 2004, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Northwood University. A supporter of numerous community projects and educational programs, Hantz is actively involved in Michigan’s higher education system. He is a member of Northwood University’s Board of Trustees, and Chairman of its investment committee. He also serves on the Legacy Board of Directors for the Detroit Medical Center.