John Panigas

I am a father, son, partner, and grandfather. I  led our family-owned businesses to achieve over $100 million in annual revenue in design, construction, manufacturing, and marketing. As a leadership coach and former peer group leader, I work with clients across various industry sectors.

I have achieved this success while battling crippling depression. On the outside, I come across as a highly motivated, driven, and confident entrepreneur. On the inside, I fight a daily battle with hopelessness, desperation, and fear.

In late 2018 I decided he’d had enough of this sad, frustrating, and inauthentic life and embarked on a successful journey of self-discovery and healing; I learned to overcome and manage my condition. One of the results of my work was the book Crazy, Who Me? – recently revised to take into account our experiences with COVID.

I believe the stigma of weakness that surrounds depression is the furthest thing from the truth. The “dual” life functionally depressed leaders lead requires courage, resilience, and a severe lack of self-regard. Forty-nine percent (49%) of leaders claimed to have experienced some form of mental illness, compared to twenty percent (20%) of the general population. Thirty percent (30%) claim to suffer from depression, compared to over thirteen percent (13.4%) of the population. And yet we lead successful companies, in spite of ourselves. I have learned to overcome and manage my condition, and I aim to help you and your team to develop a culture of mental wellness.

Apart from coaching, in late 2020, I decided to take my work to a new level, developing the workshops titled, The Unspoken Impact of Mental Illness on the Bottom Line© and Empathy – The Leader’s SuperPower©presented both online and in-person.  In September 2022, I will release my first online digital based on the workshops. It is a deeper dive, composed of 8 lessons with over 6 hours of content.

I also provide in-house programs utilizing  The Mental Wellness Playbook© that have resulted in a positive culture of mental wellness for leaders, their teams, and organizations, and the ROI is impressive.

My wife, Roxie, and I reside in Portugal. My passions are my family, which includes my five grandchildren – Mason, Gia, Liam, Jack and Nora, and traveling the globe with Roxie; we have traveled to over 20 countries and counting.



Corey Miller
CEO, Florida 2022

John’s knowledge of day-to-day operations and his ability to help address the evolving needs of our personnel has been incredibly impactful to my leadership and our company.  His direct approach to issues and his ability to hold me accountable has made me a better leader

Frank Walter
Vistage Chair 2021

John has delivered his The Cost of Depression presentation to the 2-Vistage Groups I work with, and the Group Members and I found excellent value from this seemingly difficult topic. What makes it powerful is the way John weaves his own personal story into easily understood facts from the field of psychology. I give my strongest recommendation for others to invite John into your organizations

Online Attendee 2022

John’s depth of knowledge and courage to share heartbreaking stories left me better prepared as a leader to detect potential mental health issues, personally and with my team. The Cost of Depression calculator opened my eyes to the financial impact mental illness can have on my business and the ROI of addressing the mental wellness of our team.

Judy York
Vistage Chair 2019

John left us with the stress, anxiety, and depression assessment my group did on their own and then shared their results in our next month’s meeting. My group discovered in their own experiences that high levels of anxiety and stress had the ability to seize and impact how they showed up as leaders. This has opened our group to a deeper level of vulnerability and engagement.

Peer Group
Peer Group Leader 2020

John’s workshop experience has resulted in our group experiencing a heightened level of closeness and intimacy.

Workshop Attendee
CEO Workshop Attendee 2019

John presents a ‘depressing’ and difficult topic with humor, great information, and he makes it authentic by fearlessly relating his personal journey.

Frank Miller
CEO 2020

First, I want to say a deep and heartfelt THANK YOU for the great session today. I have been in Vistage for several years, and your presentation was one of the best I’ve experienced yet


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