John Thornton serves as the Executive Director of Held. Prior to that he worked for seven years as a pastor in North Carolina where he focused his work on bringing together the congregation and those in the community that lacked financial resources in order that they both might be changed. He most recently served as the Self-Sufficiency Coordinator at a day center for the homeless in Greensboro, North Carolina where he designed and implemented a first of its kind guaranteed income project for the homeless. He began his work as the Executive Director of Held in January 2023.