Meet the Candidate
A well known and respected part of the Coeur d’Alene business community, before retiring, Joe previously served as business developer for a local company, leading it to record sales over a four year period. During that time, he initiated and led the campaign which garnered the company Best of North Idaho awards from the North Idaho Business Journal for four straight years. Additionally, Joe served on the CDA Economic Development Corporation’s Jobs Plus Action Committee, and as chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce Membership Outreach Committee. During that period, he helped develop CoeurFest, and his leadership was honored with a Committee of the Year award by the chamber.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Joe grew up in the working class neighborhood of Bensonhurst. “Did you see the movie Saturday Night Fever? That was my neighborhood. I had many a slice of pizza from Lenny’s and danced at that disco where Travolta strutted his stuff. (The floor was not lit.)The opening sequence for Welcome Back Kotter was shot from the roof of the building where I lived. And that’s my High School, New Utrecht. No, we weren’t the sweathogs.”
Joe was the founder of New York City’s first retail computer store, ComputerLand of New York City. The store’s history is currently documented in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and on their website. Joe bought and built his first computer, an 8k Ohio Scientific in 1978, with a cassette tape as storage. A year later, he decided to get into the business, and flew to California to place a deposit on a ComputerLand franchise. When he got back to New York, he assembled a team of partners to complete the process. Joe then found a suitable site, at 58 West 44th Street, in the heart of the city and across the street from the famed Algonquin Hotel. He hired a contractor, and directed the construction of the store. With staff and inventory in place, ComputerLand of New York City opened in October of 1980, to great success, and quickly reached $1m in sales.
After selling the business, he went on to a role as type director for one of the city’s top advertising agencies, McCaffrey and McCall, directing the typographic look for clients such as Mercedes-Benz and Air Canada. Upon moving to California, he was a founding partner in a high tech advertising agency, advising small businesses and municipalities on the best use of social media and marketing. Additionally, he taught web development and graphic design for major clients such as EDS and General Motors.
Joe and his wife Caroline became refugees from California’s Bay Area in 2013. Caroline was born in Idaho, and after visiting her parents during two snowstorms, they decided to relocate to Coeur d’Alene when they became empty nesters.
He is the author of one novel, Kingfish Ascendant: Book One, The Rise of Huey Long (available on Amazon), and is also an artist, working in water color and acrylic paints.