John is a seasoned journalist and media relations pro who represents the JS family in The Big Apple. As National Media Relations Lead, he flexes across a variety of Atlanta- and Dallas-based accounts, and plugs into any client team when they need a solid NYC connection.
His resume is a tapestry of investigative reporting, editing, and higher education communications work, but the common thread is his prolific gift for storytelling. Just prior to joining our firm in 2015, he covered criminal justice for Raleigh-Durham’s alternative weekly, INDY Week, where he racked up 13 major awards, including a first-place nod from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. Earlier, he held a similar position at Riverfront Times in St. Louis, Mo., collecting a top regional journalism prize for a compilation of his feature stories.
His trek into journalism was circuitous, beginning with a psychology degree from Catholic University and a post-graduate trip to Dublin, Ireland, where he picked up the Irish Times at the airport and got hooked. He landed a job in Dublin City University’s (DCU) Educational Trust office, offering a pathway to play for the rugby team, his original quest. Busted by his American football cleats, he instead scored a spot on the Dublin Rebels football squad and began percolating the idea of becoming a writer. When his visa expired, John returned to his alma mater as an editorial assistant in the Office of Public Affairs.
Born in Manhattan, he next set his sights on New York, joining St. John’s University’s Office of Marketing & Communications. Then came the Public Affairs office at Columbia University, where his media relations efforts focused on university research, putting him in the same orbit with some of the nation’s top reporters. Grad school was free for Columbia employees, so he grabbed the golden ticket and earned a Masters in Journalism, finishing top five in his class. This earned him a Pulitzer International Traveling Fellowship that led back to Ireland.
John grew up in Philly and says “bowing to the altar of Rocky Balboa” could explain his scrappy personality. He’s the only JSer we know who led bootleg tours of The Vatican, and we’re glad he made it to our doorstep before the Illuminati nabbed him.