Our core Team
John M. Zayac
Mr. Zayac, a civil engineer, has deep experience in construction and development. As a principal of the firm, he has managed the firm’s day-to-day operations, as well as exercising contractual responsibility over its projects.
Before co-founding The Project Group in 1999, he was president of Zayac & Associates, Inc. That firm specialized in commercial, residential and industrial development — including power plants, shopping centers, specialty retail establishments, upscale residential condominiums and auto-emission testing stations. He also served as a civil engineer with Havens & Emerson, Inc., during the mid-1970s and early 1980s.
Mr. Zayac is a graduate of the Cleveland public schools — graduating from John Marshal High School in 1969. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering (BSCE) from Ohio Northern University (1974); a master’s degree in civil engineering (MSCE) from Clemson University (1975); and, a master’s degree in regional planning (MRP) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1979).
He also attended Georgetown University/The Pentagon (1979-1980) seeking a Master of Arts in Political Science, with a Certificate in National Security Studies, but did not complete the degree. He also attended Case Western Reserve University (1991-1983) seeking an MSCE, with a Certificate in Construction Management, but did not complete the degree.
Mr. Zayac has a long record of service in public affairs and political office. In 1986, he served as director of marketing in Pennsylvania for Hands Across America. Prior to that, he was a member of Cleveland City Council between 1981 and 1985; and, was an economist with the National Commission on Air Quality in Washington, D.C., from 1979-1980.
- Master of Science in Civil Engineering Certificate in Construction Management, 1991-1993 (not complete) Case Western Reserve University
- Master of Arts in Political Science Certificate in National Security Studies, 1979-1980 (not complete) Georgetown University/The Pentagon
- Master of Regional Planning, 1979 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
- Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, 1974 Ohio Northern University
Community engagement has been a core value of Mr. Zayac — as indicated by the below overview (though not a comprehensive list) of the civic activities in which he has been, and continues to be, involved.
- Cleveland Public Art (now LAND studio) — member of the board of trustees and executive committee (2001-2011)
- Intermuseum Conservation Association — member of the board of trustees (2005-2009)
- Cleveland Museum of Art — leadership committee thru its Donors Circles program (2000 to date)
- Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation — member of the board of trustees and executive committee (1987-1993 & 2001-2005)
- Cuyahoga County Grand Jury — foreman (2006)
- Angle Magazine — member of the board of trustees (2006-2007)
- Cleveland Arts Prize — juror (2010)
- Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization — member of the board of trustees and executive committee (2012-2013)
- Gordon Square Arts District — member of the board of trustees (2014-2015)
- Western Reserve Land Conservancy — tree steward (2017 to date)
- Duck Island Block Club — co-chairperson (2017 to date)
- Grove Court Condominium Association — member of the board of trustees (1996 to date)