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John C. Ford – Maryland

Presidential Humanitarian Award

Road to Greatness


John C. Ford is founder and principal of John C. Ford Associates, consultants specializing in organizational development and communication which includes seminar development, delivery and executive coaching. A product of Franciscan elementary education, John–in 1965–was asked by a former teacher to help with the development of Our Lady of Angels College. Fifty years later, John has served as a two-term chair of Neumann University’s Board of Trustees, chair of its Development Committee and has participated in its growth from commuter college to a residential university of over 3000 students. John with his wife, Sandra, have also funded the John C. Ford Academic Resource Center, a dance studio in the Mirenda Center and scholarships for students with a particular interest in visual communications.

As a Catholic layman, John volunteers as a facilitator for the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities where he helps governing boards protect and promote the worth of their historical and religious roots. He has partnered with many institutions to define case statements for Catholic vision and values and to develop strategies in support of their objectives. He also works with lay institutions and those sponsored by the American Baptist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Additionally, he facilitates seminars for the Associations of Governing Boards (AGB) and Archdiocese of New York’s Safe Environment Program for the Protection of Children.

John comes to his work after a corporate career that has included senior level positions in broadcasting (CBS, ABC and the Home Box Office division of Time Warner) and in financial services (American Stock Exchange and Merrill Lynch & Co.). He has won awards from organizations such as The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), The National Communications Association (NCA) and The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). His clients include major financial institutions, media outlets, C-suite executives and university presidents.

John studied at St. Mary’s Seminary College in Baltimore before receiving his B.A. in Communications from the University of Maryland. He pursued graduate studies at New York University along with the University of Wisconsin, the University of Virginia and the Harvard Business School, where he currently serves as a moderator for its online Leadership Direct programs. John sits on numerous committees in academe, the arts and community affairs. He is an Overseer Emeritus of Emerson College in Boston, a former member of the Chancellor’s Advisory Council for the University System of Maryland, a member of the Leadership Council for the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts in College Park, Maryland, chairs the Advisory Council for UMD’s Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, and has held offices in many professional societies. He has also established a professorship and scholarship at the University of Maryland, where he was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.

John and Sandra reside in Manhattan, where he served as a member of the parish council and is a lector at Holy Trinity Church; and, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where he is both a parishioner and a cantor at Saint Peter’s Church.

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