John is an avid tennis player who always has a woodworking project on tap (especially when he has a new grandchild who needs furniture). As vice president of FEH, he’s an expert at managing complex planning projects, building systems, construction methods, and technology.
How did you decide on your career path?
My first part-time job was bus boy/dishwasher at Ponderosa Steakhouse in Dubuque. I think everyone should start with a job in food service! I moved to Des Moines for my first full time job in architecture in 1986 where I designed homes before I joined FEH in 1995.
What is your favorite part of the design process?
I love brainstorming options and developing unique details for an upcoming project.
How are you creating vibrant communities through design?
It’s important to design projects that respond to their context, successfully address a need, or enhance a neighborhood. I’m proud we can provide new community venues, improve existing facilities, and transform perceptions.
What makes Des Moines a great place to live?
I think of Des Moines as a big-small town. It has most of the advantages of a big city without the traffic and congestion. Even though the community is growing, I can run into people I know all over the metro area when I’m out and about taking advantage of all there is to do.
Where is your favorite place to visit in the Midwest?
We’ve always liked going to Chicago to visit Wrigley Field, but our new favorite is Lake of the Ozarks.
Family: My wife JoDee, three children, and four grandchildren.
Pet: A dog named Bella (Cava-zu mix).
College Mascot: Green Wave.
Bucket List: Finish Lakehouse.
Hobby: Tennis. Building furniture.
Vacation: Costa Rica.
Karaoke: No, thank you.
Team: Detroit Lions.
Podcast: Stuff You Should Know.
Breakfast: Cold cereal.
First Car: Honda CRX.
First Motorcycle: Yamaha DT 125.
States Visited: 41 + DC & Puerto Rico.