John Crowley was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. After receiving a degree in Computer Science, he spent the next 8 years working in Frankfurt, Germany. In 1993, he immigrated to Petaluma, California and worked as a software engineer - yes he was a real nerd, a UNIX systems programmer.. He now owns his own company providing air transportation logistics and management systems for cruise lines and wholesale tour operators.
John has been occupying himself over the past few years with various alternative community-building projects. He was instrumental in reinventing the Petaluma Moose Lodge, inspiring people to join in and see the potential that the lodge offered. The Petaluma Moose Lodge is not your usual Moose Lodge – offerings now include regular drum circles, open mic nights, foreign movie nights, conversation cafés and many, many more events created to get people together. Also, with the help of his leadership, the interior of the lodge has been totally renovated.
Another major undertaking has been the Aqus Café Foundry Wharf, a vibrant community watering hole that provides the much-needed “third space” that is so often lacking in today’s world. John, always the connector, has helped create the many conversation groups that happen at the café. He sees the café not unlike the Public House where he grew up in the outskirts of Dublin, a place that was the real center of the community, a multi-generational space where people connect with each other to discuss important issues and to have fun.
He has created the wildly successful Aqus Crawl, another exciting way to connect with others in the community. The Crawl is a progressive party that goes from location to location visiting galleries, showrooms, pubs and restaurants. Each night has a theme designed to easily get people into conversation. For example, one theme might be “Bring a book that changed your life and give it away” and another one might be “Bring a photograph of yourself as a teenager”, essentially anything that will start a conversation.
John has also created Aqus News, a weekly e-newsletter, which is like a combination of a local “craigslist” and an online magazine. Again, this is designed to bring people together in a trusted virtual community.
In every way, for years, John's efforts have been directed towards supporting the community he loves, creating new and innovative ways of bringing people together and encouraging community involvement.
John's focus on "Social Capital" has over these past years brought Petaluma significant positive achievements. His theory that as individuals of a town are provided more opportunities to interact and connect, the entire town benefits, has proven remarkably successful.