A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Hastings College of The Law, John practiced law until he co-founded McNellis Partners, a Northern California shopping center development firm, in 1982.
John is a decades’ long member of the Urban Land Institute—a founding member of its Environmental Task Force—and the ICSC. He is a ULI Governor, has chaired two separate ULI Councils and served as both a Trustee and Council Councilor. He has also served on the board of directors for Lambda Alpha International (Golden Gate Chapter).
A frequent lecturer on real estate topics, John writes a monthly column for the Registry magazine and is the author of the critically acclaimed book, “Making it in Real Estate: Starting out as a Developer”, a primer on the fundamentals of running a development company that is now an industry standard and taught in universities nationwide. His lecture series on YouTube is the most widely viewed of all of the ULI’s video presentations.
John is actively involved with Outward Bound USA, having served on its national board of directors and now on its advisory board. He is a past president of the board of directors of Rebuilding Together Peninsula and is a board member emeritus. He has also served on the board of directors for the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center and was a seventeen-year volunteer at the Palo Alto Downtown Streets Team’s Food Closet.