After a 25-year stint as an advisor to Danos, John Elstrott is stepping down from Danos’ Board of Directors. Elstrott says he has enjoyed his time working with Danos and the Danos family, and it’s the friendships that he will miss the most.
“John has been with Danos through tremendous growth over the last 25 years,” said Chairman of the Board Hank Danos. “He has been a true friend, and we thank him for his service.”
Elstrott first became involved with Danos in 1992 when he was an economics professor at Tulane University. He met then owners Al and Hank Danos through the Tulane Family Business Center, which he founded. The Center works specifically with family-owned businesses to advise and teach them best practices for managing the unique challenges that family businesses face. Shortly after, he began working on special projects with Danos leadership and later became an official member of the Board of Directors.
According to Elstrott, a healthy family business is based on the values of the family. “The mission and purpose of the company reflect those of the family, and the Danos family has a long tradition of love and respect for each other,” he said.
In addition to his 30 years of professorship at Tulane, Elstrott has entrepreneurial experience in a variety of industries, including natural foods retailing, branded natural foods, herbal wellness, environmental remediation and services, music hardware and software, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things. Notably, he served as Chairman of the Board at Whole Foods Market Inc., from 2009 until it sold in 2017.
Currently, Elstrott continues to serve on the boards of several other family-owned businesses, including Amy’s Kitchen, Laitram and Neill Corp. In addition, he owns and serves on the boards of 12 non-family companies, including startups Good2Go, a mobile application that helps people in urban environments access redesigned restrooms, Politan Row, a popular chef-driven food hall platform, and Traditional Medicinals Inc., an herbal wellness company that embraces sustainability, ingredient purity and social and environmental activism.
Like Danos, all of the businesses he works with are values-guided, purpose-driven and vision-inspired; it is his philosophy in business and free market capitalism. According to Elstrott, it is easy to misuse power and wealth without a higher purpose inspiring the culture of a company. He likes to work with companies that try to do the right thing and make the world a better place.
Elstrott holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Economics from Louisiana State University. He and his wife Patty live in New Orleans and have two children. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, golfing and spending time with his beloved grandson.