John’s passion for whitewater canoeing and the outdoors in general, to which he was introduced as a youngster at Camp Mondamin in the Western North Carolina mountains, shaped his career. He competed in 5 World Whitewater Championships and raced in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. He coached the US Team in 1973, and returned to competition on the team in 1977 in Austria and 1979 in Canada.
John has spent over 40 years as a small business leader in Western North Carolina. After earning an undergrad degree at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, he received his MBA from UNC Chapel Hill in 1971 and worked for 4 years at Philadelphia National Bank as a security analyst.
In 1975 John became the Assistant Director at the young start-up company, the Nantahala Outdoor Center, which was founded on the banks of the Nantahala River in 1972. He became President and served on the Board of Directors through 1991, and during that time was on the Board of first EPRO and then America Outdoors. In 2013 he became a partner at Moonshadow, a coaching, facilitation, and team building firm dedicated to “Making the World a Better Place by Making Better Leaders” for 20 years.