John A. Walsh '84
Outstanding Community Service
As the saying goes, if you want something done, ask the busiest person you know. The 2009 Distinguished Alumnus for Outstanding Community Service fits the bill. A 1984 Washington State graduate with an Associate of Applied Science degree in business management, he also earned a bachelor’s degree in 1986 in business management/marketing from Salem College in Salem, West Virginia, and a master’s degree in human resources in 1990 from Leslie College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He rose to the rank of Captain in the United States Air Force and served as Chief Budget Officer at Air Combat Command’s largest base in Las Vegas, Nevada. Returning to Marietta in 1996 as vice-president and chief financial officer at Proviron America, Inc., he is currently senior vice president for corporate development at Alliance Industries, Inc., a multi-affiliate, international corporation based in Marietta.
He is a man whose good works and contributions to the community are done quietly and behind the scenes. There are those who refer to him as a “Renaissance man” for his integrity, commitment, devotion to family and church, and exceptional work ethic - professionally and in community service. He has demonstrated tireless commitment and the highest moral standards in leadership roles in Rotary, as a past board member of the Colony Theatre Restoration project with which he currently serves on the Finance Committee, on the organizing committee of the first Marietta Sweet Corn Festival, as Finance Committee Chair and Administrative Board member for ten years at Wayside United Methodist Church, as an active participant in Operation Inasmuch– an ongoing community outreach program that works to rehabilitate homes for the elderly and those in need in our community, community youth projects, and the promotion and development of local musicians, music projects to benefit the community and its children, and personal kindnesses to benefit the quality of life of others.
As a musician and song writer, his lyrics convey the breadth of human emotions, the redemptive quality of self reflection, and personal authenticity. A close friend once said, “In the end, because what he says is who he is, [he] has created a legacy in which Washington State Community College can share and rightfully call its own.”