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Juan Jose "John" Perez was appointed to The University of Toledo Board of Trustees in 2011. He is a member of the Finance and Audit Committee and a member of the Trusteeship and Governance Committee.
John was born in Carrizo Springs, Texas. Because his parents were migrant workers, he and his family traveled through the northwestern states working in the fields. Like most children from migrant-worker families, he attended two or three different elementary schools each year. Before starting high school, John’s family settled in Toledo, Ohio. After graduating from Bowsher High School, John attended Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, and received his BA in Psychology. In 1985, he received his Juris Doctorate from The University of Toledo College of Law.
John began his legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Nicholas J. Walinski, District Judge for the US District Court in Toledo. He then joined a major law firm in Columbus, first as associate and then partner. Later, he branched out from the law office to serve as general counsel and vice president of administration for a publicly traded company. In 1997, he fulfilled a goal he set early in life and opened up his own law office. In 1999, the law firm of Perez & Morris LLC was formed. Perez & Morris LLC is a Hispanic-owned business law firm which specializes in all aspects of business litigation and transactions, and represents clients throughout the United States. The firm has offices in Ohio and New York.
Community involvement is important to John, both through his law firm and personally. He currently serves on the Boards of the Mount Carmel Health System (which is comprised of four hospitals and six clinics), and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. He is the Past Chair of the Governance Board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, and has served as a board member of the National Kidney Foundation Serving Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee and the Columbus Crew Foundation. He has also served on the Advisory Board of the National Association of Women Business Owners; and the Advisory Board of The Gathering. The firm is a sponsor of the Simon Kenton Council, Boy Scouts of America, and The Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts. In 2012, the firm funded five water wells in Kalahandi, a southwest District of Orissa, India through Thirst Relief International.
John is one of the founding members and currently sits on the Board of Directors of Columbus First Bank, a community bank located in Columbus. He is an active member of the National Retail & Restaurant Defense Association, National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms, The Risk Management Society, Council on Litigation Management, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, and Defense Research Institute. He is a member of the Columbus Bar Association and the Ohio State Bar Association.
John is also one of the founding members of the Ohio Hispanic Chambers of Commerce ("OHCC"), an organization formed to promote the development and growth of the Hispanic business community in Ohio. He remains active in the OHCC as well as the Columbus Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He has been involved with El Dia de Los Reyes, toy and blanket drives for hospitalized children in Guadalajara, Mexico, and is a longtime volunteer in his church’s nursery. In 2009, John was featured on the cover of the inaugural edition of “Who’s Who in Latino Columbus”.
John met his wife, Joan, while attending Lee University. They were married in June 1977, and have three sons, JJ, Jonas and Jamie, and two daughters (in-laws) and two granddaughters.