The EO New Jersey blog periodically features members. In this post, learn more about Joe Spano in his own words.
My name is Joe Spano, and I have been a member of EO New Jersey since 2003. I was an original member of the Vigor forum, a past moderator and EO NJ’s current treasurer. Over the years, my biggest EO takeaway has been that I really can liberate myself from my business. Although very successful at my former business, Buy-Rite (fashion accessories), like many EO-ers, I felt that it owned me more than I owned it. My first EO University in LA in 2004 gave me the confidence that I could change that, and I sold the company at top of the market just a year later to private equity.
Since 2006, I have operated a real estate development business, Spano Partners, primarily involved in the retail and solar spaces. I got started in this, regrettably, at the top of the market, because I quickly grew bored after selling Buy-Rite. In hindsight, I should have given my mind more time to relax and unwind, though I was fortunate enough to take many adventure vacations in between. I also have been a partner in WorldWide Mining Partners since 2011. We have successfully developed a plasma- and chemical-based technological process for the demolecularization, or freeing, of precious metals bound to base metals, and we are currently raising funds to upgrade the plant to a commercial level.
After graduating Rider College (now University), I remained with my internship company, PricewaterhouseCoopers as a CPA. I had the good fortune of working primarily with smaller clients in both the audit and tax departments, giving me fantastic and broad general business experiences. I left that firm after two years, beginning what I never dreamed would be a 24-year stay at Buy-Rite.
I grew up in Old Bridge, N.J., just a few blocks from the home of my wife, Diane. We have been married 33 years (did I really say 33??). Since 1984, we have lived in Freehold Township, and we have three grown sons – Matthew, Steven and Andrew, two of whom, thankfully, are liberated from us.
That’s all folks…