John Buckinger was born in 1933 in Portland, OR He graduated from Reed College in Portland and received a BA in Physics. He spent one year at RCA in New Jersey on Dew Line Project and then spent nine years at Boening Seattle and Cape Canaveral.
While attending college, Buckinger worked as a stock boy, then paint maker and lab assistant at Miller Paint. He returned to Miller Paint in 1965 as factory manager, then vice president of manufacturing, becoming president from 1988 until retirement in 2001.
Prior to retirement, Buckinger converted Miller Paint to a wholly employee-owned company by establishing an ESOP (Employee Stock-Ownership Program).
• In 1986, Buckinger was instrumental in developing new CGI tint system and formulating more than 1,400 colors for Miller Paint.
• Treasure of Color Guild 1998-2000.
• Assisted in creation of industry group known initially as ABLA (Associated Business for Legislative Action) for Oregon and Washington, which was later absorbed by NPCA as PNWPC (Pacific Northwest Paint Council) acting as chairperson 1996. He worked with both the DEQ and EPA formulating regulation guidelines, which he felt was better than fighting after the rules were in place. He implemented one of the first in-house hazardous material training programs.
• Assisted in development of government operated "Metro Recycling" for counties surrounding the Portland area. He supervised the first pilot batch as he offered Miller Paint's factory for the project.
• Buckinger and Miller Paint received the "Spirit of Portland" award for contributions of time and materials to Portland's charitable and city improvement, such as REACH and anti-graffiti efforts. He has also been a long-time contributor to local youth organizations, supplying paint when and where it was needed.