National Technical Assistance Center on Blindness and Visual Impairment (NTAC-BVI)

NTAC-BVI
Mississippi State University

Meet John Erickson, MBA

John Ericson in his office. John on the ski slopes with his son JP.

John Erickson is a registered investment advisor in Chicago. John is legally blind since a teenager as a result of damage to his optic nerve. While attending high school, he learned Braille and to travel independently using a long white cane. He attended Notre Dame University where he earned a B.S. in Finance, and went on to earn an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He started his career in the Trust Department of the First National Bank of Chicago, at the Municipal Bond Desk. As his skills developed his career progressed, moving to analyst, to trader, to managing bond funds. He received several awards from the Lipper Analytical Service for Bond Fund Management and from the American Bankers Association. He moved to LaSalle National Bank in the Wealth Management Department, as the Director of Fixed Income. His current position in a Chicago investment firm as a registered investment advisor means he has his own clients whom he serves by advising them of their investments, making strategy recommendations, monitoring their portfolios, and keeping in touch with them as needed. John uses various forms of assistive technology to make print materials accessible. He uses JAWS, a speech output program with his PC, and also uses a MAC which has its own speech program called VoiceOver. When making a presentation, he uses braille notes. He also uses braille to label files and documents. Since he has some remaining vision, John uses a closed circuit television which magnifies images onto a monitor.

Erickson enjoys adventure sports and being active. A hotel in Chicago offers the opportunity to rappel down the outside of the hotel. John has done this three times, has been bungee jumping, taken Trapeze lessons, and participated in driving a full-size tank including a version of demolition derby with tanks which entailed driving a tank over a working car! At home he enjoys putting together model tanks under the CCTV. He also enjoys skiing and is a member of the American Blind Skiing Foundation.