John Surface – The Man Behind Sweet Kickin
John Surface, the brains behind Sweet Kickin Salsa, is a well-known figure around here. To celebrate his life and career, I thought it’d be interesting to chat with him about it.
He was previously the chief executive officer of EverBank Financial Corp. before departing to join Covius Holdings, a mortgage services provider.
Early Life and Education
John Surface was born with spina bifida, an incomplete closure of the spinal cord and spine. He spent most of his life confined to a wheelchair and attended Fernald School – an institution for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
John gained an immense love of nature from his early experiences. Over time, he began walking throughout much of America to explore its many delights.
His walks taught him about the world’s ecosystems and made him environmentally aware. To this end, he developed Planetwalk: an initiative that encourages students to walk through nature while learning about it. According to Surface, this project is dedicated to “saving the planet one step at a time” while building relationships with students, their family members and friends.
John left his family behind to join the Navy, serving six years on surface ships such as HMCS IROQUOIS and HMCS HURRON. Through these experiences, John made lifelong friends and served his country with distinction.
Once he left the navy, he returned to Moncton West & Riverview where he worked as a geophysical technician and got involved in numerous organizations. He earned two Paul Harris Awards through volunteerism at that club. Ultimately, he ended up at Canadian Transportation Agency where he is currently the team leader of mediation services – providing facilitation, mediation and arbitration services across all modes of transport. In the past he held various management roles such as audit manager or rail investigations.
Achievements and Honors
John Surface’s contributions to the world of surface science are manifold and range from theory to industrial application. He pioneered aspheric lithography, microlithography, and ultra-precision grinding technologies that are now available for purchase by industry.
He is an enthusiastic charter member of ASPE, having served as its President (2014) and Director-at-Large. Additionally, he initiated several topical meetings related to additive manufacturing (AAM). A recent highlight was his nomination as a member of LLNL Distinguished Scientific Staff; his impressive list of honors reflects his status as one of LLNL’s most innovative and forward-thinking leaders.
John Surface was an inspiring man, always living for the moment. He loved fishing, traveling around the world and spending time with his two sons.
He also contributed his time and talent to several organizations, such as the Canadian Cancer Society and Heart and Stroke Foundation; plus, various Rotary projects. Not only did he have a great deal of fun canvassing for these causes but he loved spending time with his family too!
After Helena passed away in 2002, he continued to lead a life of his dreams by traveling, learning how to SCUBA dive and welcoming four more grandchildren into his family. His philosophy of spending quality time with family was always his priority; all who knew him will sadly miss him dearly.
John Surface is an acclaimed American businessman, currently serving as President and Chief Operating Officer of Covius Holdings.
He is also a stock trader, having traded EverQuote Inc shares worth $9,761,237 over the past six years.
He has invested in Fluxergy, a medical technology company. Additionally, he owns Kingston Technology which manufactures memory chips.