I’m thinking of John Jesso today. I first met him when I went to his office to inquire about starting the blog, Main Street Rocky Mount. Would I be stepping on anyone’s toes? John listened to my ideas and without hesitation, said, “I would love your help in highlighting the beautiful story of Rocky Mount.” 316 published posts later, John remains my cheer leader. His friendship is precious to me. When I came across the idea of a Codega, I knew immediately that this concept applied to John; then the Downtown Development Manager of Rocky Mount.
“In Venice in the Middle Ages there was a profession for a man called a codega. – a fellow you hired to walk in front of you at night with a lit lantern, showing you the way, scaring off thieves and demons, bringing you confidence and protection throughout the dark streets.”
John remains Rocky Mount’s tireless codega. He continues to hold his lantern high, showing all who come our way the possibilities that Rocky Mount offers. He has always had great confidence in the future of Rocky Mount. In the next chapter of his life he brings his expertise to Chambliss Rabil Commercial Reality. John and his partner Lee Mears, have in recent months effected the sale, lease or have under management in downtown alone over 165,000 square feet of space. One of my Main Street heroes, is Troy White, with all the saving and repurposing of buildings on Main and Howard Street that he is working on. We have not met although I feel I know Troy through John Jesso.
I asked Troy for a quote I could use to illustrate John’s continual pursuit of investors who are central to the “repairing of the breach.” Here is the lovely answer I received. It proves my point that John remains the Codega of Main Street who brings a man like Troy White to the community. Thank You, John! Thank you Troy for this comment and sweet thoughts, which I did not include but appreciate!
John and I met through a mutual friend that I was doing a favor for. The friend asked me to assist him in looking over a building he was interested in purchasing in Rocky Mount. We were both living in Durham and he knew John and scheduled a meeting to view the building and brought me along for my professional opinion. We met John in front of 202 Main st. That was where and how I was introduced to and met John. He and I would hit it off and he would invite me back to Rockymount to take a look at some of the other buildings in the downtown area. I fell hard for the two sister buildings on Howard St. They were in horrible shape but I could see the potential. I would later talk to some clients of mine about 202 Howard St. and they purchased that building as well. Since that time I have periodically come to Rockymount and my relationship with John grew stronger every trip. Now I consider him a true friend and I am overwhelmed with all of the possibilities for the future of Rockymount. Since then, many other friends of mine have purchased property in Rockymount and plan to either develop or move to Rockymount as I do.
Well Stepheny, thats the short but complete version. I look forward to meeting you and I want to thank you for all of the support you have given me and my team. I look forward to meeting you soon. You are so beautiful to me as well. Smile.