After serving 9 years as a weather forecaster in the U.S. Air Force, John began his successful 30+ year media career. His career included stops with the Omaha World-Herald, Media News Group, Pioneer Newspapers, Sandusky Newspapers, The Small Family, CNHI, Utah Media Group, and Hearst Newspapers. The last 14 years as a Publisher, Media & Community consultant. John served on many industry boards such as NAA, NICE, CSCMA, IPA and was the board president for International News Marketing Association (INMA) in 2014-15.
John founded the 360 Media Alliance, a news-media industry think-tank, and is the creator of Truly-Local which is designed to create synergies throughout the community involving chambers, media, government, and business leaders. He believes these critical synergies are what it takes to build stronger community foundations from which to build stronger, loyal and more vibrant communities for the future.
John's real passion and success have centered on marketing and branding. Communities must know who they are before they can market themselves. By building a brand, one can then effectively market that brand to the outside world. While with The Times in Ottawa, IL, John founded Starved Rock Country, a regional branding partnership that generated massive regional tourism growth, spinning off regional branding initiatives including concerts, marathons, events, magazines, and more. This initiative helped grow tourism from 2 million to 4 million visitors to the region in 5 years. The Times was a winner of the “Newspaper Next” initiative with this effort and was also featured in Editor & Publisher as one of the 10 media companies that do it right.
Additionally, John worked with the Main Street Organization in Oklahoma and has served on numerous economic development boards and organizations in many of the communities he worked and lived in. John's favorite quote sums up his outlook on transformation; “If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevance even less.”
John is the author of a National column appearing in over 60 newspaper markets across the country entitled, “Building Main Street, Not Wall Street.” This column works in tandem with an easily adoptable process for small communities that help the entire community understand what being Truly-Local is and the importance of being unique and vibrant. In essence, create the synergies needed so a community cannot just survive, but thrive.
John's hobbies and interests include history, weather, economics, and traveling so that he can spend time with their nine children spread across the country.