There are times when people enter your life for what may seem like a relatively short time, but the impact they made will be long remembered. WHW Board Member, Joseph Formichelli, was such a person, and it is with great sadness that we announce his passing on Sunday, March 14th, 2021.
Joe joined WHW Board of Directors in May of 2019 after an illustrious career that included 30 years of high-tech industry experience with both large enterprises and start-ups. As a retired top executive from Radio Shack, IBM and Toshiba, among others, Joe brought WHW’s Board a wealth of business expertise and strategic perspective.
Joe enjoyed his role as a steward overseeing the strategic direction, financial health and legal governance of the organization, leading with enthusiasm. He contributed his time, his talent, his treasure, his network and his business acumen to ensure that WHW’s responsibility to the community was carried out ethically, strategically and in line with our mission and values. He served as a fiduciary of the organization’s resources and ambassador to our brand. This is the critical work that is done by our board members often behind-the-scenes, but our beloved Joe was also a familiar face around the WHW Client Service Center, spending many days working directly with our job seekers.
Joe helped to create two Employment Readiness Workshops, helping job seekers improve critical soft skills, and dramatically increasing their appeal to prospective employers. With the workshop curriculum completed, Joe attended every one of the workshops, co-facilitating and ensuring that participants got the most from the information presented. After each workshop, Joe stayed around to answer questions and pass out his personal contact information to those job seekers who needed a little extra assistance, including reviewing resumes, helping to prepare job seekers for interviews and giving general career advice.
Joe also volunteered to make wellness calls to job seekers, checking on their job search progress, updating them on our monthly calendar and offering personal assistance to those who seemed frustrated by their lack of job search activity. Joe always had the best stories, incorporating business strategy with inspirational lessons and topped off with his own style of bottom line humor.
In February of 2020, Joe was honored by WHW as one of the organization’s Volunteers of the Year. It was a unanimous selection by the entire staff because of how much Joe added to the supportive culture of WHW and provided a sense of encouragement and hope to our job seekers. We will miss Joe, but we will not forget the lessons he taught. Show up early, work hard, have a plan, think big and go the extra mile when you can. I think if he were here now, he would say, “It’s time to end this and get back to work.” Thanks Joe…we’re on it!