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, a plan that will guide 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 on-going 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 Celebrate One initiative to reduce the rate of infant mortality in Columbus and Franklin County. Most recently, he has supported the creation of the Franklin County Youth Needs Assessment in partnership with Franklin County Children Services, the Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services, and the United Way of Central Ohio. The Assessment, projected to be completed in 2016, will inform the community about the needs of youth ages 12-24 and ways to assist them with successfully transitioning into adulthood and self-sufficiency.
John's leadership has been recognized at the state and national level. He previously served as Vice-Chair and currently as Chair for the General Government & Operations Committee and as a member of the 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) and serves as member of the Community, Economic and Workforce Development Committee and the Arts and Culture Commission. 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 and 2013 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.