John Marek 

John B. Marek is an award-winning author and speaker, homestead gardener and professional economic developer who specializes in community branding and business retention, expansion and attraction for rural and micropolitan areas. He has published five books and written numerous articles for local, regional and national publications on subjects ranging from tax incentives and the workforce skills gap to rural entrepreneurship and square foot gardening. A native of Ohio, John grew up on the shores of Lake Erie near the town of Port Clinton, graduated from Bowling Green State University with a degree in Business Administration, and settled in the Toledo area where he worked for several years as a marketing executive in the automotive industry. In 1995, opportunity called him south to the Charlotte, North Carolina, area where he currently serves as executive director for the Anson Economic Development Partnership and pursues his passion for the outdoors along with his wife Janet and their rescue dog Laika. Although his writing is focused primarily on nonfiction, he has also published two collections of short fiction, The Bug Jar and other Stories, and his latest book, Ocean of Storms. His story, “Bandito,”from The Bug Jar won the ACWC award for Best Adult Prose in 2016.
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