top of page

Getting to Know John David Corey

John 1.jpg
john 3.jpg
The Making of a Hands-On Leader

John David Corey has earned a reputation as a community organizer and leader who does not hesitate to speak up and get things done. He serves as a Palm Beach Civic Association Director and is a long-time member and past vice-chair of the town’s Architectural Review Commission (ARCOM), where he can be counted on to stand firm on the enforcement of Town rules for right-sized houses and neighborhood harmony.


John attended Milton Academy in Massachusetts and earned his bachelor’s degree from Boston

College and a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Department of Architecture and Planning. He has been credited with notable historic restoration projects in the Boston area, including townhouses in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, where he focused on

preserving and enhancing the exterior landmarked façades while rebuilding interiors with a

classically inspired approach. One of his projects featured in local media is a turn-of-the-century country estate in the Blue Hills Reservation, which he restored to modern standards while keeping its romantic, bucolic setting.


Even before moving to Palm Beach, John was giving back to his Boston area community with countless initiatives like raising funds for streetscape projects, playground rehabilitations, and shade tree plantings. He served for more than a decade on the board of the Beacon Hill Civic Association.


It should be no surprise, then, that since John moved to Palm Beach more than a decade ago, he has collaborated with Town government and local organizations on projects that prompted praise from Palm Beach Life magazine and Palm Beach Daily News, which wrote:

“It is rare to see an activist in town become so appreciated . . . The determination speaks to a love of  Palm Beach and ability to work with business and Town officials, plus state transportation officials.”   (Palm Beach Daily News editorial June 4, 2017)

John and his husband, noted bridge architect Miguel Rosales, live in midtown in a home they designed, surrounded by trees and native plants that reflect the natural beauty of Palm Beach.

Behind the Scenes: An Interview with John

Q: Growing up, were there influences or experiences that you think sparked your passion for historic preservation and the elements that shape a town into a beautiful, safe, cohesive community like Palm Beach?


A: My grandfather, whom, sadly, I never met, was an entrepreneur in the truest sense, and I know we would have had a lot in common. He built the families’ regional retail businesses and real estate portfolio as an Italian immigrant with little training. As a child, while I found the business interesting, I was most intrigued with behind-the-scenes operations. I would carefully study the conveyor systems that brought the cased goods up from the basement and would map them on a plan, even building small-scale models to understand their interconnectivity. I guess I’m an engineer/designer at heart, in love with the small details that make the big things happen.


Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?


A: I’m not sure I was really focused on any one thing. I still have a long list of what I would like to be: a lawyer and advocate for the underdog; a craftsman making high-quality wood products; an architect for multi-family housing (which seems devoid of any style these days); part of a yacht’s crew, as engineer; or even a short-order cook who has to think fast on his feet. I seem to practice the latter daily in my own kitchen!


Q:  How do you feel about what you actually have chosen to do?


A: I count myself very lucky to have been able to improve so many neighborhoods with

my sensitive building projects, civic beautification initiatives, and community activism. Joining the Palm Beach Town Council will be a continuation of what turned out, after all, to be my dream!


Q: Can you tell us more about your family?


A: I am the youngest of four children, and I am fortunate to have a close family that operates

independently but is very supportive of each other. When I told her that I was going to run for office, my mother advised me to “play it cool and be sincere.” I repeat those words to myself often during the campaign. And my husband, Miguel, always reminds me to have fun, be true to myself and enjoy campaigning.


Q: When you are not studying plans on ARCOM, planting palm trees, or riding your bike around town, what are your other interests and hobbies?

A: For me, hobbies tend to be a continuation of my daily life. I am a certified Master Gardener who enjoys studying and identifying plants and designing spaces. I run, go to the gym, and play a little tennis - although I wish I played more. I really like cooking healthy foods in ways that make them easy and tasty, testing different recipes and methods, delighted when one works out. My specialty is what I call Johnny Bars, my homemade version of a protein bar.


Q: What do you love about Palm Beach?


A: I love that Palm Beach is a tight-knit, historical, beautiful community. People have been very welcoming to Miguel and me in the years that we have lived here, and everyone is so accomplished that any time you strike up a conversation, you learn something. I love to travel, especially to London, to soak up their history and high standards, and I always return resolved to work even harder for our beloved island. I am very, very happy to call Palm Beach home.


Q: What is the best thing so far about running for Town Council?


A: The best thing about running for office is meeting fellow residents, sharing and learning about their concerns and identifying opportunities to make our quality of life even better.  I love to problem-solve, so I find myself analyzing specific concerns and helping residents even though I have not yet been elected.


Q: And what is the most difficult thing about running for office?


A: The hardest thing about running is when people tell me that I must be prepared for personal attacks. I hear analogies between running for public office and playing football - that tackling and throwing an opponent to the ground is just part of the game. But I hope the campaign does not come to that. I want to earn the trust and confidence of Palm Beach voters on the strength of my passion for the Town and my proven, roll-up-my-sleeves track record for getting things done. 

bottom of page