In 2016, I retired after a 22-year career at a management consulting firm in Boston, where I learned to solve problems, manage projects to time and budget constraints, and collaborate with teams to get things done. I want to put my skills to work for the Portsmouth Water and Fire District.
I love our town and want to give something back. I'm a third-generation resident of Island Park, where I live with Karen, my wife of 30 years, and our son, Jack, a senior at PHS. We own the cottage my grandparents bought in 1925, and we're amazed that they raised four kids here – sometimes it's a bit tight for just the three of us.
My mom, Dot Kirkwood, taught me the value of helping others. She was raised in the toughest economic times, the heart of the Depression. She often told me how she became expert at Whist so she could win china for my grandma down at Cashman's Amusement Park. But she wasn't just a card sharp; she went to nursing school, and worked her way up to supervisor at Newport Hospital, where she claimed to have mixed the first batch of penicillin. My dad was an Irish immigrant who worked long hours at any job he could find to bring his sister, brother, and parents over to America.
My parents worked hard so that I could attend college, and then graduate school at New York University, where I did doctoral work in media theory. I taught communications and writing in college for seven years. I led the team that created one of the first hypertext writing programs in the country at NYU, a program I coordinated for two years, giving me experience in educational administration. I've spoken at dozens of universities and conferences.
But as wonderful as it is to teach, I wanted opportunities to apply my skills beyond the classroom. So I moved to the corporate world, where I spent 22 years as a software developer, IT project manager, and then communication technology specialist for an international consulting firm. I've had experience running everything from small web teams to a million-dollar software development effort. I've worked with distributed teams under tight budgets and timeframes, which has given me a toolbox of skills in communication, coordination, and consensus building.
I've been doing what I can to help out our town and our state. For ten years now, I've run a local web site, harddeadlines.com, where I've provided news and commentary on Portsmouth issues. I'm an appointed member of the Portsmouth Conservation Commission, and for more than five years, have served on the Portsmouth School District Technology Committee.
Now that I'm retired, I want to take the next step in serving our town. My experience in business and education will help me analyze problems and make fact-based decisions. As a proven communicator, I will work to ensure the delivery of timely, accurate information from the District. And as a a parent and proud resident of Portsmouth, I will always be guided by what's right for our families and our town.
I hope sharing a little about my family, my life, and my values will help you decide what's best for you and your family on Election Day. If you have any questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to send me an e-mail or give me a call at (401) 264-0313. I thank you for your time and your consideration, and ask you for your vote on June 13th.
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Friends of John McDaid
65 Gormley Ave
Portsmouth, RI 02871
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