John Tran – Thank You

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For decades, John Tran led Monell’s finance department and served as a crucial administrator. Following John’s retirement last year, we asked current and past Monellians to share their thoughts on “Mr. Tran”.

Here’s what we got in response:

But individual words aren’t enough. Read on for some favorite memories of John’s 30 years as Monell’s Finance Director.

I believe John was worth his weight in gold to Monell. His door was always open and he usually had a good solution to any problem you were having.

David Gabl
Mr. Tran wore many hats well, but he was really exceptional as an advisor and mentor. I got the impression there was no place he would rather be.

Rachel Poole
Research Grants & Contracts Administrator
John made the Monell experiment work through challenging times as well as good ones. And he attended (and still attends!) all of Monell’s events.

Nancy Rawson
Associate Director
John handled anything and everything that came his way with a steady thoughtfulness. No matter the crisis, his calm presence led us to the solution. He was also a fierce negotiator with vendors to get Monell the best rate.

Robert Margolskee
Director and President
My favorite memory of John was his genuine excitement when you told him one of your grant applications was funded.

Julie Mennella
Monell scientist
John made Monell run like a well-oiled machine. During the holidays, he always took the time to tell each member of his staff how much he appreciated our dedication to Monell.

Cathy Tyree-Davis
Senior Accountant & Payroll Manager
Not only did John create the solid core around which Monell’s national and international reputations were based, but I was always touched by his encouragement of community work and his support of educational and clinical outreach.

Beverly Cowart
Monell scientist
John was never too busy to help any scientist with a problem. That attitude was in stark contrast with the experience that many scientists have at other institutions — he always put the scientists and their goals first.

Danielle Reed
Associate Director
While John was key to making sure that Monell’s finances were on track, I was most touched by his insistence on giving a tribute to George Rowe, a Director of the Ambrose Monell Foundation and a member of Monell’s Board of Directors, when he passed away.

Maurizio Morello
Monell Board of Directors
John and I used to joke that an effective way to make a mark in this world was to leave one print job in the printer when we leave Monell. I think of John every time I see the print job he left!

Maureen O’Leary
Director of Technology Transfer
John’s greatest contributions to Monell included his legendary ability to negotiate contracts and rates with vendors and suppliers, his sense of fairness, and his dedication to his staff. And of course, his sense of humor!

Tara Redmond
Director of Human Resources
John ran a tight ship, his tough love helped keep us afloat financially through good times and bad with his trademark enthusiastic grin and optimistic attitude.

Graeme Lowe
Former Monell scientist
John was my right (and left) hand at the more than 60 Board meetings I oversaw during my 24 years as Director. He was always there to back me up and act as a buffer when that was needed, which I very much appreciated.

Gary Beauchamp
Director Emeritus
If and when I ever had difficulty closing a deal with a vendor, all I ever had to do was to turn the sales rep over to Mr. Tran. When he was finished with them, they were more than happy to meet my requirements and usually apologetic about having wasted my time. He was a pitbull!

Pamela Dalton
Monell scientist
Mr. Tran was the guardian of Monell’s money. He was very careful about spending, and I truly believe he loves Monell. Whenever I was awarded a grant, he was sincere in his congratulations and happiness.

Hakan Ozdener
Monell scientist
My favorite memory of working was John was the smile on his face when he handed me the walkie-talkie during fire safety building evacuations.

Bruce Kimball
Monell and USDA scientist
We all went to the same expert for help – John Tran. When we had questions, he would stop whatever he was doing and offer his undivided attention. At the end of the conversation, the most difficult, complex problem somehow had an easy-to-manage solution.

Moira McAndrews
Former Monellian
John helped manage our facility and administrative staff while solving all of our budgeting problems. Whenever we went over budget information at Board Meetings, I learned something valuable from him.

Rick Berkman
Monell Board of Directors

Happy Retirement Mr. Tran – Thanks for all you did for Monell!