The Reader’s 50th anniversary isn’t the only major milestone we’re ready to celebrate—2021 also marks a full quarter of a century since director of digital and all-around-good-guy John Dunlevy joined our crew. Born in Maine, John lived in Iowa and Alabama before his family settled in Oxford, Ohio when he was in the second grade. He moved to the city to study at the University of Chicago, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in history before being hired by the Reader as a computer expert in 1996. As the Reader’s digital needs mounted, he stepped up to the plate to launch the paper’s first internet-native email server, and build its first online systems for placing classified ads and searching local restaurants. By the time society fully shifted from dial-up to WiFi, he was working in digital full time. The Capricorn, who lives with his wife Martha and cat Tino, has a calming demeanor, especially when he’s talking his less computer-savvy coworkers (read: this writer) through a hardware crisis. But while John might be the Reader’s in-house tech whisperer, his interests are so numerous that if they were electronic files, they’d overload our server. An experienced photographer, John is professionally proficient in German and dabbles in several other languages. He’s also a skilled recording engineer and radio talent who had an on-air stint at WCEV and hosted a live rock ‘n’ roll program on Hyde Park’s WHPK. These days he keeps an “ever-changing list of perfect songs,” which currently includes tracks by Thin Lizzy, Simon Joyner, the Jesus & Mary Chain, and Neko Case. Reflecting on his time at the Reader, John says, “Over the years I have worked with an incredible number of incredibly talented and awesome people, and I’m always amazed that I still do.” We’re glad you stuck around, John—here’s to 25 years together and counting!

@jdunlevy

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