John Cruz, MUP


City Planner, Writer, Developer

Editor-In-Chief at The Urbanist Dispatch

John is a recent graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where he completed a Masters Degree in Urban Planning with a concentration in Economic Development. John’s coursework focused on economic development strategies for urban areas, demographics research, placemaking strategies retail business development, and transportation planning. He has used his background in computer programming and information technology to utilize database systems and Geographic Information Systems and has experience in civic engagement management.

John is actively pursuing a career in municipal planning, economic development, transit-oriented development, and transit planning. While these are preferred opportunities, he is open to all anglophone opportunities in Montreal where his skills can be put to use. He is attentive to detail and can work under the pressure of large projects or deadlines.

Personal Information

Date of birth
December 31, 1985
Address
5258 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, App 3
Montreal, Quebec H4A 1T9
Canada
Email
john@urbanstdispatch.com
Phone
514 503 5145
313 799 CRUZ

Employment

2014 - now

Web Developer @ Face3 Media

from 2014 to present day | Montreal, QC

Face3 Media is a full service web design and development firm, which services a wide variety of clients.

Projects include small business websites, custom web applications, and custom Wordpress development. John joined the development team at Face3 in 2014 after relocating to Montréal. John's duties as a developer at Face3 include:

  • Front end HTML5 / CSS and Javascript / jQuery development in addition to maintenance.
  • Backend web programming using PHP, MySQL.
  • Software troubleshooting and debugging.
  • Development on the Wordpress platform, including custom plug-in development.

→ View website

2011 - now

Editor-In-Chief @ The Urbanist Dispatch

from 2011 to present day | Montreal, QC

Founded The Urbanist Dispatch, an online periodical aiming to contribute to the conversation on how to improve the places people live, work, and play.

As Editor-In-Chief, John is responsible for the technical upkeep of the site as well as all the tasks associated with maintaining a staff of numerous writers and editors who regularly contribute to the site. These tasks include:

  • Delegation of writing tasks to authors and editing tasks to editors.
  • Content creation, including article writing and research.
  • Tutorials and walk-throughs for staff, including documentation creation.
  • Editing articles for content, spelling, grammar, and fact-checking.
  • Working directly with authors to brainstorm and improve potential content.
  • Social Media management and engagement.
  • Project Management.

→ View website

2012 - 2013

Immigration Research and GIS Intern @ Global Detroit

from 2012 to 2013 | Detroit, MI

Global Detroit, a part of the New Solutions group is a small non-profit organization, which aims to strengthen Southeast Michigan and make Detroit a global city by pursuing initiatives that will make the region more attractive to immigration and foreign investment.

Completed an extensive mapping project and social / economic statistics report on the foreign-born populations of the Metro Detroit area. Worked directly with Global Detroit staff as well as Kurt Metzger of Data Driven Detroit on this project. You can download the full report along with the companion maps at the Global Detroit website here.

The final report received news coverage from various media outlets, including:

John was asked, along with Kurt Metzger of Data Driven Detroit, to do an interview on WDET’s The Craig Fahle Show for a segment titled “Detroit: America’s Melting Pot”. You can view WDET’s segment notes and listen to the interview online on the WDET website by clicking here. Click here to download a PDF of the segment notes and click here to download an MP3 of the interview.

→ View website

2013 - 2013

Social Media Manager and Photographer @ Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program

from March 2013 to August 2013 | Detroit, MI

The Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program is a fellowship program housed at Wayne State University that recruits professionals and helps to place them with potential organizations to help aide in the economic recovery of Detroit.

John developed social media strategies with DRFP staff as well as other Wayne State partner organizations to reach a broader audience and spread program awareness through social media. This included social media updates from partner organizations and employers of fellows. He also worked to produce demographic reports, presentations and statistics on the potential fellows as well as social media benchmarks.

Other duties included on-site photography and photo editing for various program events with fellows and potential fellows.

→ View website

2008 - 2013

Web Developer @ The Red Theory Online Services

from 2008 to 2013 | Mount Clemens, MI

The Red Theory Online Services is a small business that provides custom web solutions, web design and programming for individuals, non-profits, and businesses. John was The Red Theory’s first employee.

Worked in custom development on numerous consumer platforms including: blogging platforms, content management systems, e-Commerce, and web programs run on custom frameworks primarily using PHP.

  • Custom web design utilizing Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, CSS, and template schemes that work on various online platforms.
  • Worked directly with clients and partner agencies to collaborate on projects.
  • Oversaw work of other designers, developers and interns.

→ View website

2011 - 2011

Web Content Producer @ CBS Detroit

from September 2011 to December 2011 | Detroit, MI

CBS Detroit features the stories of people and places from Southeast Michigan

Produced the first “Defend Your Ride” segments for CBS Local Detroit, interviewing people about their cars and their driving activities.

Conducted on-location interviews and photographed people with their rides.

→ View example interview

2006 - 2007

eCommerce Developer at Signs365.com

from October 2006 to December 207 | Utica, MI

Signs365.com is a “Business to Business” producer of custom signage. John designed and built the online system to purchase signs from scratch.

Working with ownership and staff, John was able to access the business needs and designed an online ordering system that would allow the business to stop local “business to customer” sales and focus entirely on online sales. Once the site was active, he worked to fix software bugs, add site improvements, design changes, handled customer support, and eventually coordinated all the day's shipments via DHL and UPS.

When John started, the company had no presence on the web. When he left, online sales were up to around $20k per month and in-store sales were almost completely phased out. Since then, the company has continued to build and expand upon the technology. They are now located in Macomb TWP Michigan with a large printing warehouse to handle all the worldwide orders.

→ View website

Education

2009 - 2012

Wayne State University, Detroit MI

from 2009 to 2012

Master of Urban Planning; Concentration in Economic Development

Grade: 3.5/4.0 | View Diploma

Masters Essay Topic: Transit Oriented Economic Development for American Rust Belt Cities.

Capstone Project: Conceptualizing Woodbridge, a Neighborhood Plan.

Michigan Association of Planning Student Conference Host Committee Chairman (2012).

Michigan Association of Planning Student Conference Steering Committee (2011).

American Planning Association Student Representatives Council (SRC) Student Representative (2010 - 2011).

Wayne State Student Urban Planners Communications Chairman (2011 - 2012).

Wayne State Student Urban Planners Co-Chairman (2010 - 2011).

→ View website

2006 - 2008

Baker College Online, Flint MI

from Fall 2006 to Spring 2008

Bachelors of Web Development (Computer Science)

Grade: 3.4/4.0 | View Diploma

By the time John graduated he was already working as a full time web developer. Instructors at the college were also hiring him for some additional freelance work to support their own businesses.

→ View website

2003 - 2006

Baker College, Clinton Township MI

from Fall 2003 to Spring 2006

Associates of Applied Science; Major in Web Design

Grade: 3.5/4.0 | View Diploma

→ View website

1999 - 2003*

Mount Clemens High School, Mount Clemens MI

from Fall 1999 to Spring 2003

High School Diploma, focus on Music Performance

Grade: 3.4/4.0 | View Diploma

Graduation Honors for Music and the National Honor Society (Junior year President).

2002 Central Michigan University Jazz Fest class B-C-D Outstanding Soloist Award for baritone sax playing during Carnival by Steve Spiegl.

Stage Crew for all in-school productions and the community concert series.

Marching Band, Jazz Band, Student Teacher (6th grade woodwinds).

First three years of High School completed at Mt. Clemens Senior Academy, an Edison Partnership School.

→ View website

Skills

Urban Planning

Professional Skills
Geographic Information Systems (ArcGIS) Community Development Public Policy / Tax Policy Analysis Transit Oriented Development Transportation policy and Implementation Economic Development Retail Development Comfortable working alone or in a group setting
Research Skills
Census Data analysis Ability to navigate databases and journals Critical and Analytical thinking

Web Design and Development

Development Skills
HTML5 CSS3 javaScript jQuery XML php5 Wordpress mySQL Database Design

Additional Skills

Additional Professional Skills
Public Speaking Event Planning Volunteer Management Political Consulting Campaign Management Community Outreach Ability to explain technical jargon in easy to understand language

Human Language

Verbal and Written Languages
English (Native) Spanish (Familiar) French (beginning, actively learning) Strong English Writing and Editing Skills

Letters of Recommendation

Adam Diehm

Founder and Principal, The Red Theory Online Services LLC

Download Letter PDF

Steve Tobocman

Director, Global Detroit. Former representative in the Michigan State Legislature.

Download Letter PDF

Dr. Robin Boyle

Chairman of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Wayne State University.

Download Letter PDF

Dr. Chade Saghir

Transportation Planner, SEMCOG. Adjunct Professor, Wayne State University.

Download Letter PDF

Lauren Carlson

Director of Information and Planning, Michigan Association of Planning.

Download Letter PDF

Hobbies

Movies Music Reading Tea Dachshund Owner Traveling Video Games Photography

Contact

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