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John Ruffin

Publisher of "A song for the world"

John Randolph Ruffin

John first met MRA during the Mackinac conference in the summer of 1965, at which time Up with People (UWP) was created. John then traveled several continents with UWP for the next two years and was one of the cast directors for Cast A in 1966. He was invited by Dr. Doug Cornell to be the Dean of Men at Mackinac College where he worked from 1967-69. In 1969 John entered the US Army and served in Army Intelligence in Washington, DC and South Vietnam as a 1st Lt. completing service in 1972. He is currently chairman of the board of directors of the National Veterans Foundation.

He has remained an active member of UWP Alumni and close friend to founders Steve, Paul, and Ralph Colwell, and Herb Allen. In 2004 along with other UWP friends, John and Frank McGee undertook to produce a book on the 50-year friendship and saga of the Colwell Brothers and Herb Allen. Frank was the author, and John took over the publishing of the book, which was released in 2006. The last entry in production was actually the book title, “A Song for the World”, which was the inspiration of Ralph Colwell.

Both John and Frank count this work as one of their most important life accomplishments, bringing into print this significant story of personal alliance and world impact. The heart of this message is the constancy of commitment by these four exceptional men, through both MRA and UWP, to bringing positive change to the world.   

John has lived for many years in Washington, DC, and Santa Barbara, CA, now calling Boulder, CO his home. He has spent his career in organization development consulting, working with federal agencies and national corporations in the areas of culture, strategy, leadership, teams, and organizational systems. His business philosophy is: do exceptional work, build lasting relationships, and if there is not a bit of fun in it, don’t do it. John continues his consulting profession and hasn’t given up learning as he completes a doctorate in organizational change.