A native of Virginia, John joined the United States Marine Corps shortly after high school and was assigned duties as a graphic artist. Already an accomplished illustrator and painter, John expanded his artistic training at the Defense Information School at Ft. Meade, Maryland in 1998. Having received more than 440 hours of training, he was sent to Camp S.D. Butler on Okinawa, Japan for duty. John served two years on Okinawa and another year at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina before being honorably discharged from the Corps. In 2003, he earned a degree from Silicon Valley College.
Currently, John works for Marine Corps Community Services Okinawa (MCCS), a $104 million military morale, welfare, and recreation program that serves eight military bases and approximately 60,000 American service members and families on Okinawa and at Camp Fuji, Japan. As a Senior Graphic Artist and Art Director for the award winning Okinawa Living magazine, John manages the needs of internal and external clients and also executes and coordinates the photography and layout for the Living. Additionally, he oversees a team of artists responsible for producing four other publications.
John has been shooting since early 2006. Largely self-taught, John has also learned a great deal from PPA Master Photographer Lloyd Wainscott. He shoots with a Canon 1DS-Mark II and enjoys the challenge of HDR photography. His print collateral and HDR photos have been published in international publications and have garnered awards worldwide, including gold and silver awards from Association for Publication Excellence (APEX), Magnum Opus (Missouri School of Journalism), and the International Academy of the Visual Arts.
John and his wife, Tomoko, reside on Okinawa, Japan.
The Tourist Information Center, located in Naha Cityâ€™s Makishi district, has recently been registered as one of the Visit Japan Information Network offices, set up to assist travelers visiting Japan from abroad, offering multi-language services and information on local tourist sites. In association with three other registered offices in the prefecture â€“ the Naha Airport Tourist Information Center, earthtrip and TISCO okinawa, it aims to improve foreign visitor-related services in okinawa.
The Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO) designates as part of the network only tourist information offices having full-time staff members with foreign language skills and brochures written in those languages. As of June 1, a total of 222 offices were registered nationwide, introduced by JNTO through its Web site and various advertisements.
Some 188,800 foreign tourists visited Naha in 2007, a 48.7 percent increase over the previous year and attributed to the increased number of large cruise ships and charter flights coming to okinawa.