Main Street Oakland County Program Coordinator
John has 30 years of professional experience in Historic Preservation, community development and Heritage Tourism. He is a native of Auburn, Indiana where he began his interest in Historic Preservation at the age of 13. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Historic Preservation from Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) and Ball State University respectively.
He began his Main Street career in 1993 as an intern through the Governor’s Office in his home state being assigned to Indiana Main Street. John went on to serve as the Executive Director for local Main Street communities in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio for over a decade. He then worked as one of the co state coordinators for Pennsylvania under Bill Fontana for the eastern half of the Commonwealth. He was certified in Main Street in 2002 under the previous program. He diverted his career path for a time with opportunities to work with heritage tourism and community development organizations, but always brought the Main Street Approach to the forefront working with rural and urban communities as part of his role and work.
He has provided technical assistance and training to over 100 community representatives in 15 states in preservation and redevelopment with projects resulting in millions of in investment. He has successfully authored over $6 million dollars in grants for historic preservation, community development and Main Street efforts.
John returned to Main Street fully in 2016 and is now in his 7th year as the Main Street Program Coordinator for Oakland County, Michigan. Oakland County is home to the nation’s only countywide Main Street Program now in its 23rd year. The program serves 28 districts in 27 communities with populations ranging from 600 to 60,000. During John’s tenure, the program has grown to the largest number of participants, has the most private sector partners in its history, created an urban main initiative, and is exploring ways to evolve the Main Street Approach for advanced communities known as “Next Gen”.
Oakland County, Michigan, located on the northwest side of metro Detroit, is the only countywide Coordinating Main Street Program in the United States. Covering 900 square miles and with a population of 1.3 million people, Main Street Oakland County serves communities rural, suburban and urban in nature. Main Street Oakland County staff and program managers will discuss their revitalization efforts with disadvantaged communities such as Hazel Park, Oak Park and Pontiac, along with the success of Royal Oak; a district that is ever changing and booming after 40 years of targeted revitalization.