John Molinaro, founding President and CEO of the Appalachian Partnership Inc. (API) and Appalachian Growth Capital, LLC, (AGC), has More than 40 years of experience working with communities, organizations and leaders to improve the prosperity of communities and regions and the economic success of families – especially in rural areas. Formed in 2011, API is a business-led partnership focused on regional economic development in the 32 Appalachian counties of Ohio. AGC was formed in 2017 to serve as the region’s only Community Development Financial Institution. From 2012-2017, Molinaro also started up and led API’s APEG subsidiary, the JobsOhio partner serving 25 of Ohio’s Appalachian Counties. Together, API, AGC, and APEG work to bring enduring, widely-shared prosperity to Appalachian Ohio.
Prior to starting up API, John served as the co-director of the Aspen Institute’s Community Strategies group for 6.5 years and as Vice President, Program, for West Central Initiative, a regional Community Foundation and Economic Development organization for 20 years.
Mr. Molinaro has consulted with numerous communities and organizations about how to rebuild local and regional economies and how to create locally-controlled philanthropic assets. He has developed sessions and presented at many national and regional events on topics such as rural wealth creation and retention, community and economic development, workforce development, community philanthropy and family economic success. He has developed curriculum and training in these topical areas, and has regularly worked with groups to develop Theories of Change to help them plan and evaluate complex initiatives. Mr. Molinaro has served as a policy fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, and as a multi-term appointee to the Minnesota Governor’s Workforce Development Council, and appointee to the US SBA’s Council on Underserved Communities and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Community Advisory Council.
John holds certifications in Economic Development Finance and Housing Development Finance from the National Development Council and a Master’s Degree is in Community and Regional Planning. John has also participated in advanced studies in theology, leadership and policy.