The State of North Dakota lost one of its devoted public servants on Monday, September 25, 2023. John Weiss, an intelligence analyst with a distinguished background in criminal justice and a love for volunteer work, passed away unexpectedly. The cause of his death is still unknown as of the writing of this article. The constant pursuit of knowledge, dedication to public service, and a strong desire to have a beneficial impact on his community were the defining characteristics of John’s life.
John Weiss had an inherent feeling of obligation that he developed throughout the course of his life. He embarked on his journey of education and service early on, laying the foundation for a career dedicated to making North Dakota a safer and better place for its residents. His academic journey began at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology and Psychology.
During his time at the University of Minnesota Duluth, John was not only an exemplary student but also an active member of various activities and societies. His dedication to community service shone brightly as he volunteered at a local nursing home, providing companionship and support to the elderly. These early experiences set the stage for his future endeavors in the field of criminal justice.
After completing his undergraduate studies, John continued his education by pursuing a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice Sciences at Illinois State University. During his time at ISU, he participated in a program designed to instruct “at-risk youth” in life skills and behavioral basics within an educational environment. This experience allowed him to develop a deep understanding of juvenile justice and the challenges faced by young individuals in the criminal justice system.
Aside from his involvement with at-risk youth, John also interned at a juvenile detention center and with the Department of Public Safety at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. These internships provided him with practical insights into the workings of the criminal justice system and further fueled his commitment to making a difference in the lives of those affected by it.
In 1998, John graduated with honors, armed with the knowledge and determination to address the complex issues within the criminal justice field. His journey did not end there; he continued his academic pursuits and, in the following fall, began graduate school in Illinois, where he honed his skills and expanded his knowledge in criminal justice sciences.
John Weiss’s professional journey took him down various paths, each marked by a commitment to service. He served as a State of North Dakota Criminal Intelligence Analyst, where his analytical skills and dedication to the safety of the state were invaluable. His work in this role involved gathering and analyzing intelligence data to support law enforcement agencies and enhance public safety.
However, John’s versatility and dedication to excellence were evident in his career transitions. He later became a banker at Wells Fargo Bank after moving to Bismarck in 2004. This transition was a testament to his adaptability and his desire to remain with a company he held in high regard. During his time as a banker, he explored the opportunity to own and manage his own small business, which eventually led to the founding of Rocks and Blocks Inc.
As one of the three founding partners of Rocks and Blocks Inc., John Weiss made a significant mark on the landscape supply industry in Bismarck, North Dakota. The company focused on importing structural products such as aggregates, boulders, concrete pavers, and retaining wall units. John served as the manager of operations for three years, during which he managed employees, led marketing campaigns, and acted as the primary sales manager as the company began its journey.
In January 2009, the company underwent a transformation, changing ownership and expanding its services to become Rocks and Blocks Landscaping and Contracting. The new owners invested substantial resources in the company, including a new building and other sight improvements. Under their stewardship, the company became one of the leading full-service landscaping companies in the state of North Dakota.
John’s contributions to Rocks and Blocks Inc. were reflective of his entrepreneurial spirit and his commitment to community development. His dedication to both his professional and personal life exemplified his tireless efforts to improve the lives of those around him.
The State of North Dakota has suffered a great loss with the passing of John Weiss. His transition from academia to public service, business, and community development is evidence of his unwavering dedication to having a beneficial impact on other people’s lives. Let us continue to aim for excellence in our own endeavours as we commemorate John by paying tribute to his legacy by doing the same. He did this throughout his wonderful life. John Weiss leaves behind a lifetime of service, commitment, and a burning desire to make everyone’s neighbourhood safer and better.