John McIlwain


John McIlwain
VP for Advancement


As Vice President for Advancement at Aspire, John is responsible for managing Aspire’s fundraising team and marketing of the Aspire brand.

John enjoys building relationships with Aspire’s donors, partners and supporters. As a former minister, his ability to find meaningful connects with others is a beneficial trait. He sees himself as a masterful networker and enjoys meeting new people and introducing them to Aspire’s mission.

John is passionate about telling a story that makes a difference and building a team that believes anything is possible.

Before joining Aspire, John was an ordained minister and worked in the commercial real estate industry. If you want to buy his house, it’s for sale!

What is your key strategic goal for your role at Aspire? To grow Aspire’s private funding to $3 million to guarantee our mission of building an inclusive community.

What is your biggest challenge? Changing societal assumptions about what is possible for people with disabilities. And running a for-profit coffee company, Aspire CoffeeWorks, which challenges the assumptions of how a non-profit should operate.

What is the most interesting fact of your bio? I went to seminary, was ordained and served the local church for a decade before venturing into the for-profit world of commercial real estate.

One thing people wouldn’t know about you is: I never miss an opportunity to laugh!

In my spare time, I am teaching myself guitar. Thank God my wife has unlimited patience!