Asked to write a bio of myself

John Fonner joined the Columbus General Office of New York Life in July, 2013 after a long career in commercial real estate and economic development throughout Ohio and Kentucky. John is successfully leveraging his extensive professional and personal network to bring New York Life’s portfolio of employee insurance benefits and retirement products into school districts, county and municipal governments, non-profits and small businesses. 

Fonner grew up in West Virginia and graduated from the Ohio State University. He served as an officer in the US Army before beginning his civilian career in Cincinnati, Ohio where he worked for Duke Realty, BHDP Architecture and the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.  He moved to Columbus in 2009 to work for the State of Ohio at the PUCO and the Department of Transportation before joining New York Life.  John says, “I’ve been a networker and a problem solver my entire career. The insurance industry is a perfect fit for me and New York Life is a great company to work for. I’m glad we found each other.”

John is active in the community as a Vestry member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and enjoys baking bread for communion and for his own table. He hosts a monthly ukulele meet-up and plays traditional country and old-time music on ukulele and tenor guitar with friends and at jams throughout Columbus. He collects, repairs and resells vintage ukuleles and other fine things through his small company, Bud Whitley’s Garage. John frequently wears bow ties because they make people smile; reportedly, John will go to great lengths to make his friends and clients smile.