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What's Up Magazine

John Gibbs, 27, Entrepreneur

Jan 04, 2011 10:01PM ● By Anonymous

John Gibbs is a born businessman. “My sister is the smart one, my brother is the athlete, and I’m the businessman,” he says affably. And he’s got the numbers to back it up. He started working when he was barely 12 years old; holding down jobs all through his teens at such places as the Bay Ridge Inn, Jo’s Deli,West Marine, Modell’s Sporting Goods, Lights on the Bay, Jimmy’s Ice Cream…just to name a few.

John grew up in the Bay Ridge area of Annapolis and witnessed success early in life by watching his parents (now retired and living in Bethany Beach where his dad, John laughs, “Plays way too much golf.”). His mother’s career included teaching special ed. at The Summit School, coaching kids for SAT prep, and owning her own business, Computer Tutor, which helped senior citizens transition into the world of high tech. His father was a ship’s captain…of very big ships; he sailed the globe commanding oil tankers. His “smart” sister and “athletic” brother followed the Gibbs success story; she’s a neonatologist in Manhattan, and he’s a history teacher and lacrosse coach at the prestigious Episcopal Academy in Pennsylvania.

John spent kindergarten through 12th grade at St. Mary’s in Annapolis, and when he headed off to Towson University in 2001 it was, of course, to study business administration. Even before graduating, he began working for a small marketing company as the sole customer service representative in the four-person organization. The firm quickly grew to a staff of 15, with John as the go-to guy in the organization…from in-house techie to lead event planner. It was the perfect spot to receive his unofficial MBA. While still with the marketing firm, John began helping his college buddy, Chris Julio, on weekends with Chris’ business, which produced video tours for real estate companies. The work was fun, creative, and challenging. John loved it. In May of 2010, he left the marketing firm and, with Chris, dove head first into Unique 360 Tours, LLC, which has now expanded beyond real estate to represent customers such as colleges and restaurants. They recently signed the University of Maryland as a client, opened an office in Eastport, and are hiring additional employees.

In case you wondered, John does take the occasional timeout to enjoy boating and the Redskins. But, like many successful entrepreneurs, John’s work is really his hobby…that’s how he prefers to get his kicks.

—Sarah Hagerty