Joe comes from a family that has owned or led many family businesses including Meindersma, a Dutch pharmaceutical company sold to AKZO Nobel, and the world’s third largest shipping company in the 1970s, NYSE listed Seatrain Lines, which ceased operation in the 1980s following the death of the patriarch, sending the family into chaos, and the company into a death spiral.
Joe is a scholar as much as he is a practitioner: He is the former Editor of the Family Business Review and the Journal of Family Business Strategy, which he co-founded. He has 40 years of experience studying and working with family companies and has sat on the boards of 19 family businesses, currently serving on nine in a wide variety of industries. Before focusing on his board work, he gained extensive experience in over 35 years of consulting with more than 100 family businesses, including some of the largest business families around the world.
Joe is Emeritus Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at Kennesaw State University, where he previously served as Executive Director of the Cox Family Enterprise Center, and where he developed the first-ever accredited executive MBA for businesses families. Today, he is a Family Business Fellow with the Smith Family Business Initiative at Cornell University, visiting scholar at Germany’s Witten/Herdecke University, the Institut für Finanzdienstleistungen, Luzern Switzerland, and Affiliated Professor at the Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership at Sweden’s Jönköping International Business School.
Joe has received numerous awards for his research, writing and service, including top honors from the Family Firm Institute (Beckhard Award, International Award, fellow status), the Family Business Network International, the International Family Enterprise Research Academy (of which he is a fellow and member of the founding team) and was recently honored with a Lifetime Influence and Impact Award from the Family Enterprise Research Conference at the University of Vermont in 2019.
Joe earned BA, MA, MPhil and PhD degrees from Yale University. He is based in Atlanta.