Employee Spotlight: John Hawkins

One of the perks of working in IT is being able to interact with people from every department at Lakeshore. That’s a favorite part of John Hawkins’ role as an IT specialist.

“Sooner or later, everybody needs something from IT,” says Hawkins, who joined the Lakeshore team in January. “It gives me a chance to talk to everyone.”

Conversation is certainly one of his strengths. Hawkins has a great way of putting people at ease and making them feel like a long-lost friend. It’s probably in his blood. His paternal grandfather was Senator John Hawkins, the namesake of John Hawkins Parkway in Hoover. He was a popular state senator who helped pass Alabama’s mandatory seatbelt law and a law requiring children to wear bike helmets.

Married for five years to wife Mary Beth and father of two-year-old son Taylor, Hawkins inherited strong ambition from his grandfather. When not at work or spending time with his family, Hawkins is studying towards his master’s in business administration from Jacksonville State University.

“I spend about 30 hours a week on school, so I guess I’m a little busy,” he quips.

Luckily he had time to answer a few of our questions.

What attracted you to Lakeshore? People look out for each other here. There is definitely a family atmosphere at Lakeshore. It’s about doing things that matter. I also have personal ties that influenced my desire to work here. My wife’s brother had cerebral palsy and was a wheelchair user. Also, Mary Beth and her mom both work for Alabama’s Early Intervention System, which helps children with disabilities. Working with people with disabilities is important to me and my family.

What would you do for a career if you weren’t working in IT? I’ve always been interested in medicine and fitness. With that being said, I’d probably go the route of sports medicine. Combining the two would be a fun and rewarding job.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Work hard and don’t ever take anything for granted. As fast as things can be given to you, they can be taken away.

What’s one thing no one in their right mind would challenge you to? Probably the drums. I’ve been playing since I was 10. I have part of a drum set in my house that belonged to Paul Doucette, the drummer for Matchbox Twenty. My dad worked in radio advertising and helped set up music festivals in Birmingham. My family became pretty good friends with the band when they were first starting out. One day, after they recorded their 1996 album, “Yourself or Someone Like You,” Paul surprised me by giving me part of the drum set he used while recording that album. I was 12 at the time, so it was a pretty cool thing!

What’s one of your favorite memories? Well, besides getting married and having a baby, I’d have to say it was meeting Ric Flair; he’s a retired WWE wrestler. I have never been so nervous in my life! He is a legend in wrestling and was a really nice, down-to-earth guy.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why? The Sandals resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. My wife and I went there for our honeymoon. I love all-inclusive resorts and can’t wait to visit another one.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could bring only one movie with you, what would it be? National Lampoon’s Van Wilder. I love comedies.