John was born in Kansas but grew up in the Pacific Northwest, graduating from David Douglas High School. He attended Concordia University where he received a bachelor’s degree in history, but more importantly met his wife Deborah. Following their wedding, they packed a U-Haul where John pursued a Master's Degree at Ohio University and Deborah taught high school in a small, rural town in SE Ohio.
Following his education, John accepted a contract position at the US Army’s Combat Studies Institute, located at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. There, he researched and wrote monographs on historical topics with contemporary relevance for the Army. One such study on the Army’s use of Unmanned Aerial Systems was published in 2010 (Link to Amazon). After a year in Kansas, he moved back to the Pacific Northwest but continued to work for the Army on a contract.
Following that move, he went through the education and testing required to receive a real estate license and has worked in residential real estate for the last ten years. During that time, he has done everything from helping first time buyers purchase a $120,000 home (back when there was such a thing), to helping an investor secure a $9.5 million dollar rental portfolio. He has also been active in the REALTOR® Association at the local level as a board member and President in 2016, the state association as Treasurer-elect for 2020, and a committee chair for the National Association of REALTORs®.
John’s involvement in the local community started in 2013 when he entered the Leadership Clark County program. That experience gave him a foundational understanding of the ways in which our community is inter-connected: how Clark County’s past has shaped our present; how the business community needs a strong education system; and how local and state government impact our daily experiences like roads, parks, and growth planning.
That same year, John was appointed to serve on the Clark County Planning Commission, where he served for two years before running for County Council. The time on the planning commission refined his understanding of how county government operates as the wide range of issues the county faces. During that period, Clark County was finalizing its 2016 Comprehensive Growth Plan, a process the county will repeat during the next four years.
In 2011, John and Deborah were blessed with their first child, Elizabeth. She was joined in 2014 by a little brother, Isaac. The family enjoys staying active. Both kids are enrolled in gymnastics, and Beth does competitive rock climbing for The Source in downtown Vancouver. John and Deborah enjoy participating in local 5k and 10k runs, and have also done Spartan obstacle course races in Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, and Utah.
In 2016, John was elected to represent Council District 3 on the Clark County Council. In his first term, he helped bring about changes in housing policy that reduced fees and regulatory barriers for individuals wishing to build accessory dwelling units on their property. He is continuing to work on other housing policies to address Clark County’s housing affordability crisis.
As a member of the Council, John serves as a county representative on multiple committees, including C-Tran, Area Agency on Aging and Disability of Southwest Washington, the Washington State Association of Counties Legislative Steering Committee, and the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization. Earlier this year, the C-Tran Board of Directors voted to elect John as vice-chair of that board. John was also voted by fellow Clark County Councilors to serve as the Council Vice-chair in 2020.