By Pat Nowak
John grew up in Ann Arbor and attended the University of Michigan, graduating in 1982. He began his career in banking in Detroit, moving to Cleveland to work at KeyBank and then to Toledo in 2000. His career locally has included stints with First Merit and Huntington Bank.
The majority of his banking career he worked in commercial lending and private banking. He has served on several boards including the Valentine Theatre, St. Ursula Academy, UT Alumni Association and the Toledo Opera. This volunteer activity led to his decision to retire early and pursue employment in the non-profit sector, where he joined The National Museum of the Great Lakes as COO in 2015.
Married to Kathy, they have two grown children— Kevin, living in Dallas, Texas and Colleen and her husband Taylor Gast, in Lansing.
Where do you call home? Springfield Township.
What was your first job? McDonald’s.
What health or lifestyle tips do you support? I try to bring a lunch from home to work, which means I eat healthier food and it saves time. I frequently get up from my desk and walk to see people. I cut my own lawn and use a walking cart when golfing.
Biggest self-indulgence? Dark Chocolate.
I have always wanted to: Take a cruise around the world.
What trait do you admire in others? Entrepreneur/small business owners – the best part of my banking career was working with business owners who create jobs to grow our economy. As a banker, I could help, but as an individual, I never had the risk tolerance to do what they do.
Something most people don’t know about you? I am a philatelist (stamp collector).
Words you live by? Do the right thing for the right reason.
Your proudest accomplishment? Being married to Kathy, for 35 years.
Person you most respect? My parents – they were very different people but both of them encouraged me to try everything from the traditional sports to lessons. I spent an incredible amount of time at the library and reading books at home. They both volunteered so it seemed natural for me to follow their example.