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John Michael Spinelli has built a distinguished career in the public and private sector. His public sector assignments range from that of a staffer in the Ohio Legislature to a program representative managing millions of public infrastructure funds to that of a journalist reporting on government and politics as a newspaper reporter, business columnist and credentialed Ohio Statehouse correspondent.
Two of his private sector accomplishments include winning national awards while serving as the Director of Neighborhood Business Development for The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce. The first national award recognized his leadership work in helping to meld public policy with private-sector resources to redevelop a once-dilapidated urban neighborhood into The Short North, Columbus’ lively premier urban tourist destination. This five-year project delivered Columbus its first designation as an All America City.
JOURNALISM & REPORTING
The second national award came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for community development. In a national competition on community development, HUD selected for recognition a combination of urban-oriented programs Spinelli managed for the Chamber’s Neighborhood Business Roundtable (NBRT), a unique public policy think-tank comprised of business leaders and public officials. Among NBRT’s products under Spinelli’s leadership was the creation of a public/private corporation that provided inexpensive image and design services for designated business and property owners. The NBRT was also the crucible for the creation of The Neighborhood Assistant Fund, a foundation he managed that evolved into The Neighborhood Partnership Fund of The Columbus Foundation.
Although not specifically trained as a journalist, Spinelli has applied his research and writing skills, honed from years working as a business-sector spokesman and advocate, to the deadline demands of a beat reporter covering business and government issues for The Suburban News, a weekly community newspaper in Central Ohio; then as creator and author of Profiles in Business, a Sunday business-section anchor column that ran for six months in the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, followed by three years as a staff reporter for The Hannah News, one of Ohio’s premier government- and political-news reporting publications that provides accurate reporting to lobbyists, government officials and anyone who wants to keep in touch with general and specific issues in the Ohio General Assembly, the Executive Branch and public bodies.
Through SpinCo Communications, Spinelli also provides general and specific communication consulting services including grant-writing, newsletter, brochure design and strategy to non-profit and small government clients.
He currently serves as OhioNews Bureau Chief for ePluribus Media, a national, virtual non-profit news and information Website. Spinelli provides nearly daily posts about Ohio government, political news, individuals and events.
In the third of his state government assignments, Spinelli served as the Information Manager for the Office of Ohio Secretary of State. His primary assignment was as managing editor for the Spotlight, the agency’s premier intra-agency publication that provided its 11 divisions a tailor-made platform to inform and educate the agency’s 165 employees about various plans, products or achievements. His second assignment was as a staff writer for The Illuminator, the quarterly voice of The Voting Rights Institute, a diverse group of election and voter-rights advocates. He also crafted specific messages for the officeholder and helped copy-edit and review other print and Website content.
As a freelance journalist, Spinelli has contributed stories to Columbus Business First and Columbus CEO Magazine. His travel writing work has been featured as cover stories in The Chicago Daily Herald, Dreamscapes Magazine, the Mail & Globe’s upscale travel insert, The Columbus Dispatch, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincy Magazine, Executive Health and online travel site Hiatus Magazine.
Entering the blogosphere in 2006 with Spinelli on Assignment, his travel blog that tracks in words and pictures the journey he made to his parent’s Italian hometowns by way of England, the Netherlands, Spain and France.
Combining the photographic skills he acquired at the San Francisco Art Institute with his deep passion for travel, Spinelli, who speaks Spanish and has had his passport stamped in South and Central America, Ireland, England, France and Italy, exhibits his special travel-writing style.
A professional writer and journalist who brings the often times complex and arcane aspects of government and business to life for laymen, Spinelli used his writing and imagination in combination with his leadership as executive director of Health Check, a public/private health-education service, to create Friends for Life, an imaginative children’s health information series that explains in simple, clear style the important concepts and positive practices necessary to understand what good health is and how to achieve it.
Through the adventurous interactions of a cast of characters he created, lead by the lovable and hardworking red blood cells called Hemo and Globin who take care of their Friends for Life, Spinelli has intertwined fact and fancy, reality and relationships into an enjoyable story series that will captivate and inform children of all ages.
His previous government experience includes stints in the Ohio Senate and with The Ohio Public Works Commission. He holds certification as an economic development financing professional from the National Development Council and the Ohio Department of Development. He attended The Ohio State University, where he studied comparative literature and Spanish.
Among his many community contributions in Columbus and elsewhere are appointments and memberships on various bodies including The Historic Resources Commission in Columbus, chairman of the Franklinton Area Commission, The Columbus Neighborhood Design Assistance Center and director of the Southwest Ohio InfoCenter, a creative business development program he started while working as vice president for development and communications for a small Warren County chamber of commerce.
Through his grantsmanship skills, a group like the Columbus Homeless Shelter won a national grant from American Express to help their clients set up a bank account. Kids Voting Columbus, a non-profit with a mission to increase voter awareness for young adults, was given a three-year grant from The Columbus Foundation. More recently, he wrote an innovative grant for ePluribus Media to the Knight News Foundation that involves the selection of several senior-year high school students in five presidential battleground states who want to pursue a career in journalism who will contribute news stories to ePluribus Media state news bureaus.
He is also ready to launch the Society for Certified Journalists, the first online training and certification for aspiring writers and citizens in general who want to create content that is respected and trusted because the writer has acquired the skills and training necessary to make their work stand out from the din of the daily blogosphere.
Spinelli can be reached at SpinCo Communications by calling 614-578-1237 or by email at email@example.com. More personal information and writings can be found through these links: