Urbanist and City Planner
John is a graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where he completed a Masters Degree in Urban Planning with a concentration in Economic Development. John’s research focused on economic development strategies for urban areas, demographics research, placemaking strategies, retail business development, and transportation planning. He has used his extensive background in programming and information technology to utilize database systems and Geographic Information Systems. He is comfortable with civic engagement as well as working with the public.
He is currently the City Planner for The City of Crestwood, Missouri and is available for media interviews, speaking engagements, workshops and civic engagements.
City Planner@ City of Crestwood, MO (St. Louis County)
May 2021 - Present
the city of Crestwood is an independent and incorporated municipality in st. Louis County, Missouri.
John joined The City of Crestwood in 2021. As the City Planner, he is responsible for all planning, zoning, and economic development in the city. As an intermediary between the municipal development cope and the public, John provides technical assistance and guidance to property owners, developers, architects, and businesses on how to achieve their development goals in Crestwood.
Internally, John works in the city administration department of city government, helping to guide decisions made by the city administration, department of public works, and the city clerk. He also works closely with the City's Planning, Zoning and Architectural Review Committee, acting as the staff person responsible for setting their agenda, providing supplemental material for meetings, and getting concerns with site plans rectified prior to being brought to a public meeting.
His duties in this position include:
- Overseeing conformance of developments to the municipal code, comprehensive plan, and applicable overlay districts.
- Conducting official city review, including zoning review for commercial properties and development review of site plans.
- Implementing the City's comprehensive plan.
- Provides reports and recommendations to the Planning, Zoning, and Architectural Review Commission as well as the Board of Aldermen.
- Customer service functions of city government, including the validating of commercial occupancy permits and interfacing with the public.
- Technical assistance for developers, engineering companies, sign companies, and businesses.
- GIS, map-making, and geospatial analysis.
- Public speaking and testimony during public hearings.
- All other duties related to municipal planning, zoning, and economic development.
Adjunct Professor of Geographic Information SystemsWashington University in St. Louis, Brown School of Social Work
The Brown School of Social Work is one of America’s top-ranked schools of social work and is a globally recognized leader in the training of social science researchers.John provides instruction of graduate students in introductory concepts of geospatial analysis, data management, cartography, and computer science through a social science lens.
- Instruction of computer software ArcGIS desktop.
- Engaged in all aspects of adjunct instruction including, but not limited to: lesson planning and curriculum development; in-class and online teaching; and individual student assistance.
Data Management Coordinator@ Rise Community Development (St. Louis)
Dec 2015 - May 2021
Rise provides capacity-building technical assistance and training to community development organizations, government agencies and institutions in the St. Louis region.
John joined Rise in 2015. As the Data Management Coordinator, a position that is part urban planner, part data scientist, he uses geospatial and census data to tell a visual story of what is happening with land use in the St. Louis region while also tracking neighborhood change indicators. As an intermediary between data sources and human consumption, John aides the public in data literacy initiatives and assists community partner organizations to interpret and properly utilize data as a way that can positively impact their service areas.
Internally, John works with both the Rise technical assistance team and real estate team. He provides technical assistance and consulting services to Rise partners, non-profits, and local government. Utilizes geographic information systems data and technology, he works to support all Rise real-estate developments.
John is also heavily involved in community planning efforts in areas related to community engagement, policy research, process planning, and plan production.
Other duties in this position include:
- Utilizing Geographic Information Systems for geospatial analysis and map making.
- A variety of activities related to community planning.
- The development and maintenance of indicator data to track changes at the neighborhood level.
- Technical assistance for other nonprofit organizations.
- Public speaking.
Community Development Intern @ Old North Restoration Group (St. Louis)
Sep 2015 - Dec 2015
Old North St. Louis Restoration Group is a community based non-profit aiding the Old North neighborhood of St. Louis.
John lends his time as a part-time intern aiding the office in whatever duties are necessary. These include:
- Community development research and recommendations
- Grant writing and related research
- IT and web based needs.
- As needed organizational based work.
- John continues to volunteer with and aide the organization on an as-needed basis
Web Developer @ Face3 Media (Montréal)
Mar 2014 - Jul 2015
Face3 Media is a full service web design and development firm, which services a wide variety of clients.
Projects include small business websites, custom web applications, and custom Wordpress development. John joined the development team at Face3 in 2014 after relocating to Montréal. John's duties as a developer at Face3 include:
- Software development on the Wordpress platform, including custom plug-in development and front-end development.
- Large and small scale projects including e-commerce and large music festivals.
- Backend web programming using PHP, MySQL databases.
Immigration Research and GIS Intern@ Global Detroit (Detroit)
Nov 2012-Mar 2013
Global Detroit, a part of the New Solutions group is a small non-profit organization, which aims to strengthen Southeast Michigan and make Detroit a global city by pursuing initiatives that will make the region more attractive to immigration and foreign investment.
Completed an extensive mapping project and social / economic statistics report on the foreign-born populations of the Metro Detroit area. Worked directly with Global Detroit staff as well as Kurt Metzger of Data Driven Detroit on this project. You can download the full report along with the companion maps at the Global Detroit website here.
The final report received news coverage from various media outlets, including:
- The Detroit Free Press “Biggest metro Detroit immigrant group is from India, report shows”. View Article PDF | View Article Online
- Michigan Radio “Report: Metro Detroit immigrants don't follow typical patterns”. View Article PDF | View Article Online
- D Business, Detroit’s Premier Business Journal “New Report Details Metro Detroit’s Hidden Immigrant Communities”. View Article PDF | View Article Online
John was asked, along with Kurt Metzger of Data Driven Detroit, to do an interview on WDET’s The Craig Fahle Show for a segment titled “Detroit: America’s Melting Pot”. Click here to download a PDF of the WDET segment notes and click here to download an MP3 of the interview.
Social Media Manager and Photographer@ Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program (Detroit)
Mar 2013-Aug 2013
The Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program is a fellowship program housed at Wayne State University that recruits professionals and helps to place them with potential organizations to help aide in the economic recovery of Detroit.
John developed social media strategies with DRFP staff as well as other Wayne State partner organizations to reach a broader audience and spread program awareness through social media. This included social media updates from partner organizations and employers of fellows. He also worked to produce demographic reports, presentations and statistics on the potential fellows as well as social media benchmarks.
Other duties included on-site photography and photo editing for various program events with fellows and potential fellows.
Web Developer@ The Red Theory Online Services
Jun 2008-Jul 2013
The Red Theory Online Services is a small business that provides custom web solutions, web design and programming for individuals, non-profits, and businesses. John was The Red Theory’s first employee.
Worked in custom development on numerous consumer platforms including: blogging platforms, content management systems, e-Commerce, and web programs run on custom frameworks primarily using PHP.
- Custom web design utilizing Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, CSS, and template schemes that work on various online platforms.
- Worked directly with clients and partner agencies to collaborate on projects.
- Oversaw work of other designers, developers and interns.
Web Content Producer@ CBS Detroit (Detroit)
Sept 2011-Dec 2011
CBS Detroit features the stories of people and places from Southeast Michigan
Produced the first “Defend Your Ride” segments for CBS Local Detroit, interviewing people about their cars and their driving activities.
Conducted on-location interviews and photographed people with their rides.
eCommerce Developer@ Signs365 (Utica, MI)
Oct 2006-Dec 2007
Signs365.com is a “Business to Business” producer of custom signage. John designed and built the online system to purchase signs from scratch.
Working with ownership and staff, John was able to access the business needs and designed an online ordering system that would allow the business to stop local “business to customer” sales and focus entirely on online sales. Once the site was active, he worked to fix software bugs, add site improvements, design changes, handled customer support, and eventually coordinated all the day's shipments via DHL and UPS.
When John started, the company had no presence on the web. When he left, online sales were up to around $20k per month and in-store sales were almost completely phased out. Since then, the company has continued to build and expand upon the technology. They are now located in Macomb TWP Michigan with a large printing warehouse to handle all the worldwide orders.
Master of Urban Planning Wayne State University
Sep 2009 - Jun 2012
At Wayne State University, John's graduate research focused on economic development and public transit systems. View Diploma
- Masters Essay Topic: Transit Oriented Economic Development for American Rust Belt Cities.
- Capstone Project: Conceptualizing Woodbridge, a Neighborhood Plan.
- Michigan Association of Planning Student Conference Host Committee Chairman (2012).
- Michigan Association of Planning Student Conference Steering Committee (2011).
- American Planning Association Student Representatives Council (SRC) Student Representative (2010 - 2011).
- Wayne State Student Urban Planners Communications Chairman (2011 - 2012).
- Wayne State Student Urban Planners Co-Chairman (2010 - 2011).
BSc in Web DevelopmentBaker College
Sept 2003 - Jun 2008
At Baker College, John focused on skill building in programming, databases, and web standards. View Diploma.
High School DiplomaMount Clemens High School
Aug 1999 - June 2003
John's High School tenure was largely focused on music performance (saxophone), jazz theory, and music education.
- Graduation Honors for Music and the National Honor Society (Junior year President).
- 2002 Central Michigan University Jazz Fest class B-C-D Outstanding Soloist Award for baritone sax playing during Carnival by Steve Spiegl.
- Stage Crew for all in-school productions and the community concert series.
- Marching Band, Jazz Band, Student Teacher (6th grade woodwinds).
- First three years of High School completed at Mt. Clemens Senior Academy, an Edison Partnership School.
Boards and Committees
Board of Directors | Communications Committee Chairman @ St. Louis Metro Section of the American Planning Association (Missouri Chapter)
July 2016 - Current
The American Planning Association is the largest professional organization of community planners in the United States. The St. Louis Metro Section covers the 11-county St. Louis Metropolitan Area in both Missouri and Illinois. John was on the planning committee for the 2017 Missouri State Planning Conference in St. Louis.
Executive Committee Member@ National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (Washington DC)
Jan 2018 - Dec 2020
Coordinated by the Urban Institute, NNIP consists of organizations in 32 cities that share a mission to help community stakeholders use neighborhood data for better decision-making, with a focus on working with low-income communities. The Executive Committee is a partially elected body which oversees the direction of NNIP.
Charter Board Member | Treasurer@ Civ Tech St. Louis (St. Louis)
Aug 2017 - Sept 2018
CivTech STL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the goal of empowering citizens with tools and data that lead to more effective government, a more engaged community, and a more equitable society. John helped oversee efforts to turn CivTech into a nonprofit from an initiative, serving a year on the board as Vice President and Treasurer.
2019 Community Planning Champion Award
Awarded by the American Planning Association, St. Louis Metro Section to individuals or groups for impactful contributions to the community.
2018 Outstanding plan making Award
Awarded by the American Planning Association, St. Louis Metro Section to a single planning effort in the region for the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Plan
2018 Outstanding Local Government Achievement Award
Awarded by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments for the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Plan