“He works the room like no one you’ve seen.”
You can’t miss him at a Chamber event – he makes introductions, makes jokes, makes his job look like a breeze. John Joy is the Director of Business Development, and when he started working at the Chamber, the Sox were entering the 82nd year of their World Series drought, the B’s and C’s were playing at a different Garden, and Wilson Philips held the top spot on the year-end Billboard top 100 (hint: it was 1990).
Since John came on two and a half decades ago, the Chamber has seen four different presidents and four different offices, and when asked about his tenure, John says that you might as well be able to say he was born here.
As the Chamber’s newest (and youngest) addition, I had the good fortune to catch up with our longest-tenured employee for a quick Q & A. Here’s what John Joy had to say.
Loaded question here – who’s your favorite president?
Well Jim Rooney – of course!
Is there any particular moment or story that you feel encapsulates your time at the Chamber?
The fun moments are, for me, especially being in Business Development – just hearing the great stories that you get when members attend events and they send you emails or just positive feedback saying, “Wow, thank you for that introduction to this company. We really it hit it off well, and now we have a meeting set up, and I think we’re going to be doing business with them.”
Hearing stories like that, it makes me feel great as to why I’m still here – helping companies, helping members build those relationships. It’s been a great opportunity for me – you really do work with a wonderful staff, a great team. And I love having the opportunity to know what’s going on in the business community, of having access to a lot these recognized local and national speakers, building strong relationships with members, connecting them with other business leaders, and providing them that access to help them grow their business. At the end of the day, when I’m able to do my job, and hear all of this great feedback of what the organization is doing, that makes me feel great. I wake up every day, and I still enjoy what I’ve been doing for more than a quarter of a century. And thanks to the many breakfast events, I do wake up every day saying, “oh wow, they do feed me as well!” – and I don’t take that for granted.
How has your role changed and grown since first started ?
I started off in the mailroom. I worked my way up from there and became an administrative assistant, and then I was a membership coordinator, and I think I’ve been in this role as Director of Business Development for ten, fifteen years now. It’s really been a great experience. I love being in Business Development, but I also have learned a lot from [the other department]- I just love working with the members and the Chamber team. It’s a small organization, so I have the opportunity to connect with other departments and learn what’s going, whether it’s policy, communications, the marketing team, I get to hear what the other teams are doing because it really is a great team environment.
What are you looking forward to in the future of the Chamber?
I’m really looking forward to seeing how our work reaching out to the innovation space shapes up, and how the Chamber can really play a role with connecting the startup community with the more-established companies that we have here. I know we can play more of a role in that space, in building that bridge. The other thing I’m looking forward to is just continuing to be bold on the policy initiatives that we play a role in, whether it’s pay equity, being vocal on the energy regulations – I think it’s really bold to take stands on these issues.
What’s something that people might not know about you?
There are a lot of things that people don’t know about me! I enjoy walking. Doing a couple of miles in the evening, my wife and I will get out as much as we can, to do our walk. And I’m a really good basketball player. I do take on my son every now and then, and of course, I let him win – even though he’s a good player as well. I love the water and boats, so any time that I can get down to the Cape to fish, it’s something that I love to do. I used to ride ATV’s – people probably can’t picture me riding an ATV!
Tell me about your family.
I have two kids; a 20-year-old daughter who just finished two years of college. She’s taking some classes to become a paralegal and ultimately, she wants to work in a law firm. And I have a 14-year-old son who will be starting high school this fall. So I’m starting to get my life back now, little by little. My wife and I celebrated our 20-year anniversary this past year. We’ve been together now for about 25 years, and I keep getting younger every day.