John Yena

John Yena, a Community Leader, Has Passed Away

Yena was a beloved community figure and the founding director of La Grange Park Community Park District. He also served as coach and mentor to hundreds of area children while teaching physical education classes at Forest Road School and Park Junior High for many years.

She feels honored to be a Miller Arts Scholar and can’t wait to connect with other passionate artists through UVA’s exceptional arts programs. Additionally, she’s part of UVA’s premier all-female a cappella group, Virginia Belles.

Early Life and Education

Children go through an accelerated period of growth and development during their early childhood years, so having the appropriate education system in place is critical for helping them succeed.

During this stage of their development, children will learn how to communicate with others, engage with their environment and develop self-esteem and a sense of morality. These are crucial aspects that will shape who they become in the future.

Though many don’t consider education a career option, it is an integral part of many people’s lives. Having access to quality educational opportunities is crucial for their success in today’s globalized world. Programs and initiatives like Head Start provide free educational services for low-income kids; another federal initiative.

Professional Career

Longtime Barrington resident Yena was renowned for his outgoing personality and ability to make people feel at home. A passionate volunteer, Yena served on numerous boards and committees across the city – from golf courses and local government to hospitals and community centers – all with the aim of improving people’s quality of life.

John is an accomplished and creative writer, editor, and director whose work has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal. Additionally, his work has received awards from the Academy of Visual Arts, Writers’ League of America, and PBS. John was also one of the founding members of renowned Richmond arts organization City of Virginia Filmmakers Association where he served as its president. Currently John is working hard on finishing touches for his latest venture.

Personal Life

John Yena serves as Vice President – Operations Controller for Gilbane, a national construction and real estate development company founded in 1870 with an estimated 3,000 employees headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island.

Yena has a deep commitment to his community and has served on boards such as ITT Educational Services, Potomac College and BankRI. He believes in service – it offers immeasurable rewards. In 1998 he was honored to join the Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity for U.S. Department of Education. Yena loves playing guitar while worshipping God alongside his two daughters Mary (nee Hinni) and their children Michael, Matthew & Mark; they survive him along with his wife Mary (nee Hinni) and three sons Michael Matthew & Mark.

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