Name: John Stevenson
Family: Wife: Michelle; Daughter: Elizabeth (3 YO); Daughter: Emily (2 months); Dog: Maggie (7 YO)
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Company: The Projects Group
Position: Executive Vice President
How do you choose to give back to the community? I have the honor of serving on the Boards of several incredible organizations. I am Treasurer of Streams & Valleys, the group committed to acting as the “Voice of the Trinity River.” My grandfather, the late Fort Worth Councilmember John Stevenson, was also an Executive Committee member of this board, which brings me great personal joy. I am also Treasurer of Tarrant County Samaritan Housing. I also serve as a director or committee chair for U.S. Green Building Council North Texas Regional Council, Tarrant Transit Alliance, ACE Mentor Program of DFW, and the Engineering Advisory Board of Birdville ISD.
What advice would you give to yourself at age 15? While I tried to keep this in mind even then, I am certain I would appreciate the reinforcement. Focus on creating relationships and experiences through extracurricular activities, not just on coursework. I tried to live this mentality in high school, college, and business school, and I still believe it to be true.
Where did your first paycheck come from? As a teacher and coach at the Summer Science Camp at SMU
What other profession would you like to try? Photojournalist
Tell us about an influential person in your life. How did they influence you and why are they important? If I could name two people, I must name the two most significant pastors I have experienced in my life, Roger Quillin and Karl Travis. I have been a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA) for my entire life and was ordained as an Elder in 2014. I credit much of my personal, social, and theological understanding to these two men. They both broke through personal barriers and difficulties to lift and support those around them. They taught me to “honor all persons” and “love those God calls us to love” (quotes from their standard Benedictions). They taught me a more complete understanding that Christ calls us to love all people, to fight injustice, and to strive for equity and equality. Particularly over the last few years, this has led me toward a greater calling for antiracism and LGBTQ advocacy and alliance. I would not be the same husband, father, or citizen, if not for Roger and Karl.
What did you want to be when you grew up? In fourth grade, I wrote that I wanted to be an “enganer.” My undergraduate studies were in mechanical engineering, and I earned my Professional Engineer license. While I have accomplished the goal of becoming an engineer, I am not positive my spelling abilities improved since fourth grade.
What movie, TV show, book, stage play or video game influenced you growing up? Rocket Boys, republished as October Sky, by Homer Hickam. My friends and I started the robotics team at our high school, which became the most successful team in the school’s history in its first year. Our coach, Deb Goudy, recommended we read this book to better grasp the heights we could reach with our new team.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to find out? I enjoy photography and have had my work displayed at the Dallas Museum of Art, among other places.
What is your ideal vacation? My family has been vacationing in southern Maine for over 100 years. Even though I have gone every summer since I was born (save for a COVID hiatus in 2020), I never tire of it. It is a wonderful time to recharge, reconnect with family, and introduce our children to the area.
Favorite food or restaurant? Angelo’s
Favorite drink? Something from my late grandfather’s Scotch collection
Favorite movie: The Hunt for Red October
Favorite sports team: Dallas Cowboys, though that is painful to say!
Favorite song: “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty
Tell us about your prop? My prop is a collection of Bucknell University memorabilia that my father collected for me. It holds significance to me for myriad reasons. At a high level, it is important because I attended Bucknell for my undergraduate studies, and it profoundly formed who I am. Without its rigorous liberal-arts education, I would not grasp how to communicate and engage with the world around me. I would not be the engineer I am without the foundation set by my engineering studies. And, most importantly, I would not have met the love of my life – and fellow Bucknell engineer – Michelle. I learn every day what it means to be a good partner, parent, and Professional Engineer from her. On a more detailed level, this display includes tobacco leathers, trade cards, and pennants from the 1800s and early 1900s. Only my father has the passion for and understanding of such fine objects – and the compassion to invest the time in seeking them out – to have created this memento for me. I am blessed to be his son. Every time I see it, I am reminded of how I would not be who I am today without Bucknell or without my father.