Team Bios

Chris Moore

Chris Moore is a creative entrepreneur, a catalytic collaborator, and promoter of sustainable philanthropy. His past and current ventures span technology, brewing, historic redevelopment projects, and entertainment.

Growing up in Vicksburg

Chris grew up within and was deeply formed by the small village of Vicksburg, Michigan, twenty minutes south of Kalamazoo. His roots there are deep, as his family has been woven into the fabric of the village since the 1840s. With parents and grandparents who were community leaders, he grew up learning how to serve and contribute to a community. Vicksburg’s small-town values are deeply ingrained in Chris’ imagination and work ethic.

For a century, Vicksburg’s economic engine and cultural hub was a large paper mill, recognized as an industry leader. The Mill shaped the lives of Vicksburg’s residents, with almost every family having a member employed there, and the factory shift whistle marking time in the town and local fields for miles around.

Chris’ grandfather and father worked at The Mill throughout their professional careers, and he often visited them, fascinated by the scale of the colossal operation. While Chris was in college, he worked summers in The Mill.

Chris is devoted to his hometown’s past. He actively studies the history of Vicksburg and yearns for the village to reclaim its economic luster. He wants Downtown Vicksburg to be significant and vibrant, restored to its historic character, bustling with growing businesses, residents and visitors. College and the Concords Chris studied Liberal Arts at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Always an entrepreneur, in college he started a business making stereo speakers. He “balanced” his loud-speaker-making business with his studies—but in truth, the business often won out. Chris left Ann Arbor for the Pacific Northwest to explore and discover what he could create and contribute. He worked for a year at a microbrewery in Portland, Oregon in 1989. Eventually, Chris found a fertile field in the emerging technology sector. Not an engineer himself, Chris showed a knack for spotting opportunities in the marketplace, and organizing people and products to develop them. He launched his first telecommunications company and called it “Concord,” meaning agreement or harmony between people or groups. He saw Concord as a company that brought a benefit to its customers that wasn’t available in the marketplace. Concord evolved through several iterations, keeping up with—and even ahead of—technology and the marketplace. In time, Chris and “the Concords” moved to Seattle. The current Concord Technologies is a pioneering technology company whose products bring automation to manual workflows in healthcare. Concord Technologies is well-known nationwide for providing interoperability to healthcare systems with its cloud-based management of healthcare data. Chris continues to serve as founder/CEO.

Old Stove Brewing/The Pike Place Market

If Concord was Act I in Chris’ career, Act II has been about creating spaces for people to come together around craft beer and entertainment. Chris had stayed active with the craft beer community since working in a microbrewery in 1989. Concord is located next to the world-famous Pike Place Market. The Market has its own community within the big city of Seattle. Chris has been part of this community for 16 years and appreciates the similarities of The Market community to his small-town Vicksburg. Like The Mill at Vicksburg, The Pike Place Market once faced the prospect of the wrecking ball in the 1960s. Short-sighted city government officials favored tearing down all of The Market’s historic buildings and replacing them with parking garages and high rises. Community activism saved The Market from the wrecking ball and afterwards, successful guidelines were enacted for The Market’s preservation and public vitality. Living and working within the Pike Place Market and embracing the “Meet The Producer” motto has influenced Chris considerably. Chris is clearly inspired to have the opportunity to both save historic buildings and be the catalyst to bringing sustainable economic activity to The Mill. In 2016, Chris founded Old Stove Brewery, the only craft brewery located within Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market. The name is an homage to the Kalamazoo stoves built in the early 20th century in Kalamazoo county near his hometown of Vicksburg. Since its opening, Old Stove has continued to expand and win numerous recognitions and honors, such as Seattle’s best brewery taproom for 2018. Chris’ commitment to the concept of concord inspires him to create places that promote harmony and happiness. Through Old Stove, he is developing multiple projects at the intersection of brewing, music and sports venues.

The Mill at Vicksburg/Sustainable Philanthropy

The first and second acts are naturally progressing into Act III of Chris’ career: sustainable philanthropy. Chris is grateful for the success he has enjoyed and wants to create opportunities for others to explore what’s possible and discover success. As the paper industry moved away from the Midwest, The Mill sat shuttered and decaying. In 2014, Chris saved The Mill from the wrecking ball by arranging the purchase of the entire facility from the Kalamazoo County Land Bank. Chris is passionate about historic preservation and allowing these historically important buildings to be open and available for the public to enjoy for many generations into the future. Between 2014 and 2018 Chris has invested a significant amount of capital to pay for all of the consultants needed to plan every detail of The Mill redevelopment. Chris believes in environmentally sustainable development and economically sustainable philanthropy. An environmentalist from an early age, Chris is thrilled to have the opportunity to remediate the harm done to the land, river and wetlands that surround The Mill. Chris has committed his own energy and capital to develop the 110 acre campus for craft brewing, entertainment, residential, and tourism. Chris is equally committed to helping further revitalize Downtown Vicksburg by restoring many of the historic buildings and bringing in smart, fun and economically sustainable businesses to the historic downtown. Once again, Chris is functioning as a catalyst and fostering concord, organizing a collaboration between government entities and local stakeholders to make The Mill at Vicksburg a regional destination and an economic engine to drive his hometown’s economy for another century.

Chris Moore

John F. Kern, Director of Creative Programming & Innovation

John Kern, a Michigan native, couldn’t help but be intrigued when Chris Moore first told him about the idea to bring Vicksburg’s old paper mill back to life. Despite his Michigan roots, John still hadn’t known much about the village of Vicksburg or its paper mill, but when he visited in Summer 2015, he knew immediately that he wanted to be a part of this project and help bring Chris Moore’s vision to life.

In September 2015, John and his wife Jackie Koney permanently moved to Vicksburg to be fully immersed in this project and, most importantly, in the community. With an extensive background across several disciplines—primarily education but also audio and video production, marketing promotions, and public speaking—John is the perfect fit to directly engage with the people of Vicksburg and its surrounding communities and generate excitement about restoring The Mill.

“Vicksburg is an all-around great place—to live and to visit—and I believe that The Mill will create a space for younger generations to get excited about and want to invest their time,” John said. “Restoring The Mill, which has been such a vital part of the community for decades, and reviving it into something new will make Vicksburg a more sought-out place for experiential learning, and could even be used as a model for small towns. A lot of great things will come of this project, and I’m glad to be a part of it by spreading the word to our community and beyond.”

In addition to his work with The Mill, John is heavily involved in other community organizations and resources that the town of Vicksburg has to offer. He serves on the board for the Vicksburg Farmer’s Market, has some of his personal photography work featured at the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center, and also runs the artist residency program at The Mill: The Prairie Ronde Artist Residency. He also has much experience in public speaking engagements within and outside of Vicksburg.


After graduating from Michigan State University in 1988, John continued his education, earning supplemental degrees from Augsburg College in Minneapolis and from the University of Washington in Seattle. He spent several years working as a teacher through QSI Virtual Learning Services and as a freelance digital marketing blog writer, both of which taught him skills that he can dedicate to his work for The Mill at Vicksburg.

John Kern

Rebecca Luong, VP of Design & Development

Rebecca Luong has over two decades of knowledge in planning, architecture and interior design for experience-focused hospitality destinations. She has directed the design of amenity-rich, luxury, multi-family, residential community projects across the United States, Middle East and Asia. Her projects range from the 61-room LEED Platinum certified Bardessono Hotel in Napa, CA—rated one of the top 10 luxury boutique hotels in the world—to a multi-hectare development of seven man-made islands off the coast of Dubai.  

As part of the Paper City Development team working to bring The Mill at Vicksburg back to life, Rebecca will lead this complex adaptive reuse and renaissance effort as VP of Design and Development. In her role, she will be the liaison between the ownership and consultant teams, tasked with translating the vision of The Mill to and through multiple disciplines.

With her knowledge in hospitality architecture and interior design, Rebecca will be instrumental in creating a memorable guest experience for every facet of The Mill, including its boutique hotel, social and event spaces, museums, taprooms and more. She captures the story of the site, paired with the aspirations of the brand ethos, as the lens for a cohesive, authentic and elevated guest experience.  

Rebecca’s specialty in destination development complements The Mill’s mission to build a space rooted in hospitality and experience. By drawing upon her professional expertise gained with her previous powerhouse hospitality firms such as WATG, The Gettys Group and Gensler, she will reshape the historic architectural backdrop of The Mill into contemporary, design-forward spaces to create a truly one-of-a-kind campus experience.  

Rebecca has an extensive educational background in design, having earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Ball State University and Masters’ Degrees in International Development from the University of Washington. Much of her focus can be seen in the integration of site, architectural, landscape and interior design as a holistic hospitality experience. Aside from her educational and professional career successes, Rebecca is also a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP) and a member of the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH), having most recently served on the NEWH Northwest Board in Seattle, WA. Rebecca is also a native of Vicksburg and has long valued Paper City’s vision for the Village of the future, rooted in its rich past.

Rebecca Luong

Project Consultants

Design Architect: Gensler |

Historic Architect: HopkinsBurns Design Studio |

Landscape Architect: WTA Architects |

Structural Engineer: Silman Engineering |

Environmental Consultant: Phillips Environmental Consulting Services, LLC 

Brand Consultant: The Image Shoppe |

General Contractor: Frederick Construction |