John is a 5th generation Californian, being born and raised in Ceres, California (Stanislaus County). His great-great maternal grandfather Edward Kiernan was born in Ireland and mined in the Columbia area of Tuolumne County, before settling in Salida. Both sides of his family have been involved in farming/ranching for multiple generations.
John is Chairman of the Board of Hidahl Inc. (aka Hidahl Ranch), which grows cling peaches, walnuts and cherries in the central valley, where his youngest brother manages the operations. John has been a resident of El Dorado Hills (District 1) and El Dorado County for 38 years. He has been married to his wife Eileen for 44 years and together they raised their five daughters in El Dorado Hills.
John graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. His professional career in the Aerospace Industry spanned 41 years, working at Aerojet for 31 years and Northrop Grumman for 10 years. His roles included: rocket test engineer, rocket design engineer, rocket heat transfer, performance and stability engineer, project engineer, program manager, development operations and manufacturing manager, Director of Engineering, Chief Systems Engineer and Mission Assurance Program Manager. John served as an elected Director to the El Dorado Hills County Water District (aka Fire Department) for 33 years. During his tenure on the Board, he worked collaboratively with Chief Robert Cima, Chief Larry Fry, Chief Brian Veerkamp, and Chief’s Dave Roberts and Tom Keating. John’s shared commitment to "Service before Self" is evident in the many areas he has volunteered to serve El Dorado Hills and El Dorado County: 36 years on the El Dorado Hills Area Planning Advisory Committee, 23 years on the El Dorado Hills Community Council, 15 years on the El Dorado Hills CSD CC&R Advisory Committee, Chairman of the El Dorado Hills Incorporation Committee, El Dorado Hills CSD Task Force Chairman for the 40 acre park site on Harvard Blvd, Co-chair of the El Dorado Hills Community and Economic Development Advisory Committee, Lakehills Architectural Control Committee, Lakehills Fire Safe Council, and District 1 Parks and Recreation Commissioner. John remains a strong advocate for: 1) Establishing and maintaining a structurally balanced budget; 2) Open space preservation to maintain our Quality of Life; and 3) Senior housing options and senior programs/recreational opportunities.