A native of Western New York and Orchard Park, Legislator John J. Mills graduated from Orchard Park High School and earned a degree in Business Administration from the University at Buffalo. He has spent his adult life in service to the region in general and Erie County in particular. A successful businessman, Legislator Mills is President of J. Mills Distributing Company, a successful food distribution company that he founded in 1976 with his wife, Barbara. Very much a family operation, the business has been built with their three grown children and other close relatives into a very successful enterprise, from which John gives back generously to the area with untold donations of food to a myriad of fundraising events and worthy causes throughout the region. He also serves as the President of Quality Food Brokers, M J M Industries and Florida's Finest Food Brokers.
Not content with what he could do for the area from his business, John became involved in Orchard Park government as a member of the Public Safety Committee for a year and then as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals on which he served for four years before being elected to the first of his six four-year terms of office as a Town Councilman. At times during this period, he served as Deputy Supervisor, co-founded the Zoning Commission and served as Chairman of the South Towns Sewage Treatment Agency.
Legislator Mills has further dedicated himself to his community as a lifetime member of the Friends of the Orchard Park Library, as well as a member of the Western New York Food Bank, American Legion, Lions Club (Orchard Park), Shriners, Masons - Lodge #514, Orchard Park Historical Society, and the Orchard Park Chamber of Commerce. In addition, John is a former vice-president of the Orchard Park Jaycees and a past chairman of the Quaker Arts Festival. He is a past president of the Orchard Park Lions Club. John's active and deep involvement with good causes and current issues keeps him deeply involved in the community. In 2017, he was named an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Eastern Lake Erie Charter Boat Association.
In 2005, Legislator Mills was elected to the Erie County Legislature. He took office in January, 2006. In January, 2007, Legislator Mills was elected Minority Leader, a position he held through 2013. He has successfully won reelection in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019.
He was elected to serve as Chairman of the Erie County Legislature in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 after serving as Minority Leader. He was the first Republican to hold the position in 36 years.
Legislator Mills also serves as chairman of the Erie County Soil Conservation District and is the former chairman of Erie County Sewer District #3.
He attends governmental meetings in every town and village in the 11th district, and also meets with many groups within those towns and villages.
Since 2007, Legislator Mills has sponsored hot dog roast fundraisers at the libraries in his district to raise funds to support programming and the purchase of materials. At the end of 2017, he reported the roasts had raised nearly $87,250 for libraries in his district.
Life long resident of Orchard Park. Graduated from Orchard Park High School and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Buffalo. Married to Barbara McIvor, they have three children - Kim, Jim, and John, and nine grandchildren - Tyler, Brandon, Kennedy, Ava, John, Sienna, Ashton, Chase and Harrison.
J. Mills Distributing Company, President
Quality Food Brokers, President
M J M Industries, President
Florida's Finest Food Brokers, President
Food Bank of Western New York Award - 400,000 lbs Food Donation
NY Water Environment Association Inc Frank E. Van Lare Award
Republican of the Year (2005) – Orchard Park Republican Committee
Public Servant of the Year (2002) - South Town Conservative Chairman Association
Award for Outstanding Service and Achievement - N.Y.Assoc. of Convenience Stores (2004)
Western New York Food Broker of the Year (2001)
"Byway Champion" (2010) - WNY Southtowns Scenic Byway
American Public Works Association - 2011 Elected Officials Award
General Pulaski Association Inc. - 2012 “Unsung Heroes" Award
Orchard Park Post of Fame - 2012 Inductee
New York Water Environment Association's Frank E. Van Lare Award (2014)
Lions Club, New York State - Robert J.Uplinger Award
Lions Club International - Melvin Jones Award
Honorary Lifetime Member of the Eastern Lake Erie Charter Boat Association Association
Dedication to Polish American Community (2014) - General Pulaski Association
Communities Gone Green Award (2014) - Friends & Neighbors Advocating Better Green Living
Legislator of the Year (2018) - Erie County Federation of Sportsmans Clubs Inc
Grassroots Government Service:
Erie County Legislator, 11th District - 2006-present
ILDC Board Member - 2014-2017
Chairman, Erie County Soil & Water Conservation District - 2006-present
FAB Member - 2006-present
Councilman, Town of Orchard Park - 1982-2001 & 2004-2005
Board of Managers, Erie County Sewer District #3 - 2002-2005
Deputy Town Supervisor, Town of Orchard Park - 1989-1997
Co-Founder, Town of Orchard Park Zoning Commission - 1983-2001
Chairman, Southtowns Sewage Treatment Agency - 1987-2001
Vice Chairman, Southtowns Sewage Treatment Agency - 1983-1986
Chairman, Town of Orchard Park Zoning Board of Appeals - 1979-1981
Town of Orchard Park Public Safety Committee - 1976-1977
Donation of 400,000 lbs of food to the Food Bank of Western New York
Eden, Springville, Orchard Park Chamber of Commerce - 2006-Present
Orchard Park Chamber of Commerce - 1977-Present
Orchard Park Historical Society - 1994-Present
Masons - Lodge #514 - 1981-Present
Shriners - 1982-Present
Lions Club (Orchard Park) - 1988-Present
American Legion - 2000-Present
Western New York Food Bank - 1979-Present
Friends of the Orchard Park Library - Life Member