I have lived in Clarksville since 1971 with my wife, Virginia Schilmiller Gilkey. We have three children: David, Chuck and Chris who you may have met in the meat department of the Clarksville Kroger store.
We live in the Fairlawn Subdivision off Eastern Boulevard near the Clarksville Little League Park. Our family attends St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church where Virginia and I sing in the Tabernacle Choir and the One Voice Ensemble and participate in other church activities. I am a member of the St. Anthony Parish Council and have been a member of the Parish Finance and Capital Campaign committees in addition to being one of four co-chairs for the St. Anthony Parish Picnic in 2009.
Over the years my civic involvement has included: the Clarksville Rotary Club, the Clarksville Little Theatre Board of Directors, Clarksville Main Street, the Falls of the Ohio Foundation Board of Directors, Clarksville Sister Cities Association, Hope Inc., Connect Clarksville, the Clarksville Historical Society, Clark County Men’s Democrat Club, Lewis & Clark Heritage Trail Foundation, Kentucky Society of Natural History, American Legion, and I am a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
I am retired from the Southern Indiana, Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Tourism Bureau where I served as Director of Communications for eight years. I started with the Bureau in January of 2006. Prior to that I was employed for 37 years by The Evening News where I held the positions of reporter, city editor, managing editor, senior editor and vice president of Internet and information services.
Community Service Involvement
► Presently serve on the Clarksville Town Council representing the 2nd district.
► Presently serve on the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Managers
► Formerly served on the Clarksville Plan Commission.
► Formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Arts Council of Southern Indiana.
► Formerly served as a member of the Clark County Solid Waste District Board of Directors.
► From 2007 to through 2010, I served as a member of the Clarksville School Board where I helped lead the school corporation through some of the most trying financial times it has ever known. Today we have a stronger school corporation that is better equipped to meet the challenges of the future.
► I have served on the Ivy Tech School of Business Advisory Board at the Sellersburg Campus.
► Served as treasurer of the Clarksville High School Holding Corporation during the renovations of the Clarksville High and the Greenacres Elementary Schools.
► Participated as a member of the Clarksville High and Middle School Public Law 221 School Improvement Committees making recommendations on enhancements to curriculum and teaching practices.
► Served on the Charles A. Prosser School of Technology Board of Advisors and presently serve on the Graphic Arts and Computer Technology Advisory Councils. I also served on the school’s Public Law 221 School Improvement Committee.
► Served as a member of the Board of Aviation Commissioners of Clark County for a 4-year term from 1995 to 1999. During that time, I led the effort to complete the board’s first-ever strategic planning initiative and led a successful effort to have a Sellersburg Volunteer Fire Department sub-station built on the airport property. I was involved in the initial efforts to extend the main runway at the airport.
► Graduated in 2000 from the Leadership Southern Indiana program. I am also a 2001 graduate of Leadership Louisville and a 2002 graduate of the Bingham Fellow program of Leadership Louisville. I have also completed the Regional Connections, Focus Southern Indiana, and Focus Louisville programs to develop my leadership skills and to get a better understanding of our region as a whole.
► Chaired two advisory study commissions to help Clark County government computerize the courthouse. Both commissions made formal recommendations of how to proceed, and many of the recommendations were implemented.
► Led an initiative of the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce for the transfer of land at the former Charlestown Army Ammunition Plant to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for the creation of a state park. That effort led to the creation of the Charlestown State Park. I produced a video on the proposal and made the formal presentation to the Natural Resources Study Committee asking that the state acquire the land and build the park.
► Chaired the River Ridge Resort Committee that has worked with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to help develop the master plan for the Charlestown State Park.
► Served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Clarksville Riverfront Foundation which assists the Department of Natural Resources with the operation and maintenance of the Falls of the Ohio State Park, Interpretive Center, and George Rogers Clark Home Site State Park.
► Participated as a member of the Board of Directors of Clarksville Sister Cities Association. I accompanied the Association to Bewdley, England, in 2000 and to La Garenne-Colombes, France, in 2004 at my own expense and served as a member of the official delegations discussing Sister Cities relationships. The Association has already made it possible for annual visits of Clarksville and Providence High School students to La Garenne-Colombes, a suburb of Paris, France, and has hosted inbound visits of their students. I still sit on the Association’s board of directors.
► Co-Chaired the Jeffersonville Floodwall Art Committee along with Barbara Donahue, working to create a photo-realistic historic art display on Jeffersonville’s floodwall.
► Led parish retreat at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Clarksville in 2002 and have been a member of its choirs for many years.
► Served as volunteer media liaison for the Falls of the Ohio Lewis and Clark Bicentennial in 2003. Supplied hundreds of images for distribution to dozens of media outlets across the country to promote the event. Photos were used on the local festival program book cover, the cover of the 2003 Bell South Yellow Pages, and on the cover of the 2003 Indiana State Highway map.
► Donated work for the Falls of the Ohio Lewis and Clark travel brochure for the 2003 Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration including design, original photography, layout and output to service bureau for printing.
► Designed the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial License Plate and generated graphical images for the state to use in manufacturing the plate.
► Served on the Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce Technology Council, which championed low-cost high-speed Internet access for Southern Indiana and made it a priority of the Chamber in its 2003 and 2004 plans of work.
► Served on Board of Directors of Kentucky-Indiana Personal Computer Users Group and produced its 24-page monthly newsletter.
► Assisted Clark County United Way in the 1970s and 1980s with computerization of its Clark County offices and served on agency review boards and on its Community Advisory Board.
► Was appointed in 1995 as Clarksville’s representative to the Indiana River Marina Development Commission and served as chairman during its first year.
► Served on the Board of Directors of HOPE, Incorporated, a program helping at-risk students stay in school.
► I was named a Sagamore of the Wabash in 2004 by Gov. Joe Kernan for my community involvement. The Sagamore of the Wabash is one of the state’s highest civilian award for community service.
► In 2005, I was designated as an “Ambassador of Clark County” by the Board of Clark County Commissioners for my volunteer work in connection with the 2003-2006 Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.
► I am a private pilot licensed to fly single-engine land-based aircraft and am also a certified Open Water SCUBA diver. My hobbies include photography, videography, computers, HAM radio (KC9MHJ) and nature walks.
One Reply to “My Vita”
John has my vote for the BOD