John and his wife Lynn grew to love the Northwest corner of Michigan through years of vacationing at the Watervale Inn on Lower Herring Lake. They are returning to Michigan after a stint of living on Manhattan in New York City. John and Lynn – who have four adult sons all of whom are Eagle Scouts – will be spending the majority of their time at their home on Platte Lake in Benzie County.
John has been for decades active in non-profit and tax exempt organizations including leadership roles in educational, church, and community service organizations. As a Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout Troop in Southeast Michigan John earned most of the Boy Scout awards an adult leader can earn for training and leadership. The Troop was involved in camping and conservation projects throughout Michigan and the United States. BSA Troop Eagle Projects included planting thousands of dune grass plants to prevent erosion along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Benzie County and clean-up operations at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
John brings to the Board a unique blend of commitment to conservation and nature coupled with a proven track record of leadership in the arenas of legal governance and risk management. John has over 35 years of experience as an attorney working on corporate transactions, corporate governance, acquisitions, capital finance, compliance, and business ethics. John recently retired from AlixPartners LLP, a global business consulting firm, where he was General Counsel, Secretary and chaired its global Risk Management Committee. Before holding those positions John spent two decades in private law practice and also for 10 years held the positions of General Counsel and Secretary at Champion Enterprises, a company traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange.
John is an adjunct faculty member at Wayne State University Law School and has taught a variety of business planning and tax courses. He is also a guest lecturer at Fordham University Law School in New York. He previously served on the faculty of Walsh College of Business and Accountancy, and was for several years a guest lecturer at the University of Michigan Law School, conducting a seminar on crisis management for the general counsel.
John holds a bachelor’s degree from Kalamazoo College and a J.D. with honors from Wayne State University Law School. He received his LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida Law School where he graduated first in his class and was awarded the Mershon Sawyer Award for outstanding scholastic achievement.
John is the Past-Chairperson of the Taxation Section Council of the State Bar of Michigan and has authored and co-authored numerous articles in the fields of taxation, business planning, and mergers and acquisitions
John is elated to be a member of the Board of the Conservancy and appreciates the responsibilities of trust and stewardship that go with that role.