Business owner meets president

GREENFIELD — Amy Gannon heard around the office the White House was looking for local small businessmen to interview ahead of President Donald Trump’s Indiana speech.

The Marion County Republican Central Committee intern knew the perfect candidate — her dad.

John Gannon, owner of Custom Wood Fencing of Greenfield, shared his thoughts on tax reform about a week before Trump stepped off Air Force One at the Indianapolis International Airport. And the president mentioned Gannon’s business and how he believes lowering taxes on small business owners will help him be more competitive.

“We were pumped for the honor of meeting the president,” he said. “It’s not an everyday occurrence, that’s for sure.”

Wife Serena Gannon attended the speech at the Indiana State Fairgrounds with her husband, but she watched from the main audience area while John Gannon was sequestered away in a smaller room, waiting to meet the president, she said.

During his speech, Trump congratulated John and Serena Gannon for their recent 35th wedding anniversary and joked about his company replacing the fence around the White House for $1.5 million. He said his proposed tax reform will make businesses like theirs more competitive, allowing them to expand, hire more workers and raise wages for current employees.

John Gannon and other business owners hobnobbed with the president during a short meet-and-greet session, during which Trump shook the hands of the local businessmen he’d mentioned and signed a handful of his signature “Make America Great Again” red ball caps.

John Gannon has operated Custom Wood Fencing for 33 years out of his Greenfield home. It started as a part-time enterprise but became his full-time job some 18 years ago, Serena Gannon said. He said legislation by conservative governors, including Mitch Daniels and Mike Pence, helped his business flourish over the years.

He believes the plan put forward by the Trump administration will help the economy, he said.

“I think the tax cuts are good; they’re right on,” he said. “It will be great for the country, great for families and jobs and will rev up the economy.”

Amy Gannon watched from the stands as the president mentioned her father by name, an experience she said was surreal.

Though she wasn’t able to join her dad while he met with the president, she was proud to know he’d spoken his mind about his business experience and that he’d made it into the president’s speech, she said.

“I was just happy that he was able to do it, that’s for sure,” she said.

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.