John Russell has two loves-animals and Community Service. He is described as "Never one to seek fame and glory for himself, John is the type who prefers working behind the scenes to acomplish the many good deeds he is responsible for."
After moving to Ojai in 1998 with his wife, Peggy, he helped establish Ojai Community Bank and served as its founding chairman in 2005. John has served on the Ojai Valley Community Hospital Board since 2000.
He is also on the board of the Santa Barbara Zoo and keeps a zoo of sorts on his 8 acre property. John and Peggy keep over 200 animals ranging from exotic birds to donkeys. They give tours of their menagerie to senior citizens and provide refreshments afterward.
John is very involved in local organizations, including Help of Ojai and Concerned Resource and Environmental Workers (CREW).
Mr. Russell observes: "Retirement to me is still doing what I want to do but not having to make maney doing it. I mean, we have been pretty active throughout our lives, so why not continue to be active? And you find in Ojai there is always a need to get involved."