Alumni Spotlight: Joseph ‘Joe’ Healey, Business Administration, ’81

Head shot photo of Joe Healey
Joseph ‘Joe’ Healey, ’81, Business Administration

Joseph ‘Joe’ Healey, ’81, Business Administration

Business Development Manager, Eastern U.S. & Eastern Canada with Sargent and Greenleaf, Nicholasville, KY.

The Alumni Advancement office recently interviewed Joseph Healey (JH) about his UNE experience and career.

Describe your career path and key professional choices to this point.

JH: In ‘86, after a few years in retail management, I took a few career tests and the results came back with strong matches for sales management, military officer, and law enforcement.

I met with a recruiter who had access to a list of potential employers, and came across Wells Fargo Armored Services (Loomis Armored today). The recruiter did not think it was a good fit, but went ahead with the evaluation. I interviewed with about 12 people, was polygraphed, and took the London House tests and got the job! The SVP of Sales and CEO later told me they took a chance on me. It paid off for all involved. I was the #1 and #2 National Accounts Manager at the firm for 10 years and received numerous awards! Fortunately, my sales success continued throughout my career.

Over the course of 40 years, I shifted to a few other companies including competitors. Recruited by friends I worked with in the past – networking is significant. The transitions I made were positive. You learn with change. Currently, I am the Eastern U.S. and Canadian Business Development Manager for Sargent and Greenleaf based in Kentucky. 

How did your time at St. Francis College and UNE impact you as a student, a person and a professional?

JH: I came to St. Francis to become a marine biologist – I loved Jacques Cousteau. After a few courses, I decided the sciences were not for me. Also, Dr. David Manyan, St. Francis and UNE professor told me honestly, I should reconsider my major and I realized he was right. I moved over to the business program and did well. All the people I met at SFC/UNE were terrific. Go Red Knights – Biddeford arena. Who could forget the SFC hockey team at that time.

A few difficult situations with employment through mergers, acquisitions, and one bankruptcy occurred.  From these experiences I moved forward. Change can be good. My motto is, there are no such things as problems – only solutions.

What advice would you give to current students or young alumni?

JH: Make sure you enjoy what you do for a living. Keep training - education is key, travel, meet new people and develop meaningful long-term relationships. Problems are part of life.  Don’t let problems control your life. Solve them so you can move on. 

Get exercise. Stay healthy. It can save your life as the story below details.

Upon graduating in ‘81, I took a three-month summer bicycle tour of the British Isles, Europe, in all 13 countries on roughly $45.00 per day. A few months after returning to Southern Maine, I landed in the ICU of Webber Hospital where my future wife was an ICU nurse. Somehow without GPS and cellphones I, along with two UNE buddies (Chuck Gregory '80 and Vic Motz, professor at SFC) managed to pedal 100 miles or so a day having great adventures and making lasting memories. Little did I know that my adventurous memories had just begun! I mention my tour of Europe because the physicality of it all was why I survived this momentous accident where Claire (WC ’79) and I ultimately met. I was running late for work driving through Saco on Route 1 towards Portland, and wouldn't you know there was black ice and of course my balding tires took a spin and ultimately my car struck a telephone pole sideways. The next thing I knew I woke up on a ventilator in Webber Hospital's ICU (now Southern Maine Medical Center) with nurse Claire Dolbec WC ’79 and surgeon Dr. Lyer talking about me as "John Doe" and the possibility of brain damage. I motioned for pen and paper and wrote, "My name is Joe, not John Doe, and added the jury is still out on brain damage," of which everyone in the room broke out in laughter. When I improved, Dr. Lyer asked if I were an Olympian, because the injuries I received should have resulted in death. What amazed him was when he opened me up to repair the damage, my organs were textbook perfect except of course for the injured ones. So, call it Karma, the biking in Europe, or the skills of the doctors and nurses at Webber Hospital, I survived. When I was moved to the general nursing floor Claire visited me a few times after her shift. Claire says she visited me because she felt bad that I didn't have family visiting since they were in New Jersey and New York.  Well damn, whatever the reason, I got her phone number and here we are forty years later. I'd do it all over again!

What about career advice?

JH: Write out your goals with all the plans and then make sure you succeed. Be resilient and ask for help when needed. Don’t burn your bridges because you will bump into the same people again.  

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