Proven Results in Promoting Economic Opportunity

A major focus of John’s career is helping public agencies and their institutional, private, and nonprofit partners find the best ways to collaborate in support of downtown and neighborhood reinvestment.

A turnaround in Philadelphia’s housing agencies

John organized a collaborative, “team” approach for a 500-person workforce during his tenure as the city’s Housing Director. As a result, Philadelphia’s formerly troubled housing agencies achieved their highest level of productivity since the 1960s (1992-2001).

Overcoming the biggest barrier to recovery in Camden

John reoriented the Camden Redevelopment Agency ’s management of redevelopment planning in order to successfully resolve community concerns about displacement associated with the agency’s administration of a state-mandated recovery plan for the city. John’s leadership of CRA produced the strongest public agency/community working partnership in the recovery plan’s seven-year history (2007-08).

A positive new start for a once-mismanaged development agency

For an incoming Prince George’s County administration, John proposed solutions for longstanding problems associated with the county’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). John’s proposal for organizational capacity-building and a future DHCD leadership role in county development was endorsed by the newly appointed DHCD director (2010 to 2011, in collaboration with Virginia Tech Center for Housing Research).

A new focus for code enforcement: rewarding responsible investment

John’s strategic plan for the City of Reading’s Codes Division called for the City to adopt a balanced approach to rental property code enforcement, providing rewards for quality property maintenance combined with the imposition of tough sanctions on owners of neglected buildings (2009-10).

A results-oriented philanthropic investment strategy

Influenced in part by John’s accomplishments in the city of Reading, the Berks County-based Wyomissing Foundation invited him to assist the Foundation’s Long-Range Planning Committee in designing a plan for the strategic investment of Foundation funds in three municipalities—Reading, West Reading, and Wyomissing–over a five-year period. The investment strategy calls for Foundation funds, combined with leveraged financing, to support development activities within three compact target areas: a residential neighborhood programmed for housing rehabilitation, a “gateway” area at the edge of Reading’s downtown commercial district, and a heavily-trafficked retail corridor adjacent to Albright College (2011 to present).