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John Simmons

May 19, 2011

in Community Profile

By Kyle Siegel
Staff writer

John Simmons is the Community Development Director for the City of Sedalia and he thoroughly enjoys his job.

“The reward in this work is improving the community and improving the quality of life for people,” Simmons said.

“One of the most rewarding things I find, are looking through the city codes and finding some things that are no longer applicable. It is rewarding to go in there and say that doesn’t work, let’s try this,” Simmons added.

As community development director, Simmons has several important duties that he performs for the City of Sedalia, such as overseeing community development, supervising and directing code enforcement as well as directing and overseeing the Building Maintenance Department.

“I reap a lot of personal satisfaction with what we do and what we accomplish,” John said.

Simmons is originally from Marshall, where he lived until he was 12 years old.

“I am originally from Marshall, but all of my grandparents and family are from Sedalia,” Simmons said.

At age 12, Simmons moved to Tempe, Arizona where he resided for 20 years. During his time there, John attended Arizona State University where he received his B.S. Degree in Marketing in 1987.

In 2001, John received a two-year certification from the National Main Street Center Certification Institute.

In 1995, John came back to the Sedalia area to take care of his terminally ill grandmother.

“I came back to Sedalia because my grandmother had terminal cancer. I wanted to come back and take care of her because she had been so important in my life.

“She passed away rather quickly and I was contemplating moving back to the area. When a job came open for Downtown Sedalia, Inc (currently SDDI) I took the job.

“I had some really good experience and opportunities that Downtown presented for developing a career,” Simmons said.

In 2002, John moved to Colorado to take a director’s job with the Glenwood Springs Downtown Development Authority.

“When I left the second time, I moved to Colorado. I knew that I would come back to Sedalia one day,” Simmons said.

Simmons had one more stop on his way back to Sedalia.

In December of 2003, Simmons moved to Springfield, Mo., to become the executive director of Urban Districts Alliance, where he worked until the fall of 2005.

“Those experiences with Colorado and Springfield really provided the background and experience needed to tackle city issues,” Simmons said.

He added, “Sometimes the paths of your life are revealed as you go through your life.”

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