Another of John’s priorities is bolstering the local food system to improve the health and well-being of residents, create and retain jobs and encourage sustainability. He recently led the County’s announcement of a partnership with the City of Columbus and Local Matters to develop a comprehensive Columbus-Franklin County Local Food Action Plan, which now guides the community in creating a stronger and more sustainable local food system.
When it comes to social services, John focuses his efforts on constructing thoughtful, strategic and collaborative approaches to serving vulnerable communities. In 2009, he established the Somali Work Group, an ongoing collaboration among numerous county agencies, courts, and community organizations tasked with identifying the needs of Franklin County's immigrant communities and developing effective government responses to those needs. In 2014, he served on the Greater Columbus Infant Mortality Task Force whose work now informs the community’s CelebrateOne initiative to reduce the rate of infant mortality in Columbus and Franklin County. Most recently, he has fostered collaboration in combating chronic health conditions and barriers to access through his support of the Franklin County Youth Needs Assessment and the Franklin County Opiate Action Plan.
John's leadership has been recognized at the state and national level. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors, Chair of the General Government & Operations Committee, and as a member of their Metropolitan & Regional Affairs Committee for the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO). In 2015, he was appointed Vice-Chair of the Large Urban County Caucus for the National Association of Counties (NACo); he serves as member of NACo’s Community, Economic and Workforce Development Committee (CEWD), and as Vice Chair of the CEWD Workforce Subcommittee. John was instrumental in bringing NACo’s Annual Conference and Exposition to Franklin County in the summer of 2017, an event which welcomed more than 2,000 county commissioners from across the nation and generated $3.8M in direct visitor spending. Through his involvement with these associations, John engages with leaders, in our region and beyond, in the discussion of solutions to community issues. He promotes shared government services and cooperative purchasing contracts among communities as a way to reduce the cost of government, and whenever given the opportunity, he looks for and promotes big ideas and new strategies that will make Franklin County stronger.
Prior to serving as Commissioner, John worked as an administrator in the State Treasurer's office, owned his own business, and served two four-year terms as the Clerk of Courts for the Franklin County Common Pleas Courts and the 10th District Court of Appeals. As Commissioner, he was selected in 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2017 by his fellow Commissioners to serve one-year terms as Board President. John is the youngest of 12 children, and he and his wife, Pamela Hykes O'Grady, are the proud parents of four children: Elizabeth, Jack, Patrick and Erin.