Driven by unbridled ambition, nothing has kept Joe down since the day he was born in New York. Few can believe that a boy unable to walk without the aid of leg braces would transform into an unstoppable force. One of the shortest and scrawniest in his class, Joe seemed destined for a life of being picked last and holding down the end of the bench. But Joe had other plans. Thanks to heart and hustle, Joe would excel in athletics, even earning his place on collegiate wrestling and semi-professional football teams. This heart and hustle, though, was not confined to the playing field. It couldn’t be.
At age 11, Joe had to test how well he really could stand on his own without those leg braces. Leaving behind friends and family in New York, Joe was forced to start all over when his mother moved his sisters and him to Florida in the middle of sixth grade while his father stayed behind for work. It was on his first day of school that he turned around from the cafeteria counter, tray in hand, to find a sea of unfamiliar faces. He could have slinked into the corner, but the courage and confidence that sports had brewed inside of him suddenly bubbled to the surface a mantra that would spill into every aspect of his life – “I CAN!” I can walk over to a table, stick out my hand, and say, “Hi, I’m Joe.” And so, he did.
Relying on, “I CAN,” Joe has never treated his goals as daydreams. He does not live in “what ifs.” He wakes up every morning, accepts what is, and gets to work. In fact, back in New York as a teenager, following an argument with his parents, Joe packed a bag, and with what little money he had, took up residence in an office in his friend’s garage with a box-heater in the middle of Winter. To make ends meet, he would walk 2 miles through snowy mornings to open a local gym at 5:00am. Soon, he would ascend from racking weights to trainer to champion bodybuilder.
Having tested his will and discipline as a competitive natural bodybuilder, Joe packed a bag, scraped together the cash to buy an old junker, left his family behind and made the trek to the West Coast to tackle his next task – acting. With no background in the art, Joe hustled his way to a gig renovating an acting studio in exchange for acting classes and a roof over his head. Before he knew it, Joe earned a speaking role on several soap operas, as well as his AFTRA card.
Joe’s acting career was cut short when he found his calling after tragedy struck New York on 9/11. Ever the altruistic soul, Joe headed home and joined the Police Department, where he could nourish his love of public service as a Harrison Police Officer. His contributions to the community have extended to coaching youth sports, clothing drives for the homeless, and organizing charity functions for children battling life-threatening illnesses.
To think, all of the above achievements are not even where he dedicates the true magnitude of his heart. Joe gladly trades sleep for the real priority in his life – family and friends. A devoted husband and father, no moment is too small to find meaning, joy, and the opportunity to inspire and be inspired by his wife and three children. Fueled by the commitment to give his family a life better than the one he once knew, Joe tapped into his entrepreneurial spirit and turned what was once a side hustle into his own award-winning party entertainment companies (Nyce & Kaos Productions) where he and his partner have helped create the most memorable celebrations.
Now, Joe speaks to share his own life lessons and rewards in hopes to spark the same fire that burns brightly inside of him.