Chief Purpose Officer
Joe Higgins is a CEO, turn around leader, serial entrepreneur, political pundit.
He’s grown over a dozen start-up ventures and a hand full of turnarounds. He’s a subject expert in education and curriculum design healthcare operations and policy, and the nuances of picking up trash. He builds strong teams, empowers them, drives his organizations with purpose and constantly focuses on the big WHY.
Politics is in his blood, from his training at the University of Arizona to run for a countywide public office to over 7 years on the air hosting a morning drive-time political talk show. Joe’s a triple threat, no not acting, singing and dancing but politics, human nature, and business execution. The dance between politics and business could not be stronger in America. Knowing the steps to the complex tune is critical now more than ever.
Joe digs in, he’s not afraid to completely reinvent himself into a new field. For most, change is a bitter pill, for Joe, change is his sweet spot.
For Joe, research and data are the foundation of a startup. Sales and marketing coupled with financial analysis lead to results. With over three decades as an entrepreneur, experience, curiosity and hard work all help stack the odds in his favor. He’s failed, he’s succeeded, he love’s the hunt. The bigger and more complex the better. From idea to $30m revenues in 4 years…done that. Built them, turned them around, sold them, closed them. Making tough calls go with the job.
Mining For Gold
In third grade, his assignment was to write an essay on what he would do with a million dollars. Sure, a pool and new house were in the story but so was buying a gold mine. Reinvesting in income-producing assets at 8 years old, now that’s an entrepreneur. He got a ‘C’ on the paper.
Joe’s driven a trash truck (and grown and sold a trash company), he built a chain of cell phone stores in two states, then jumped over to create a franchisable haircut group in the Tucson market. He turned around a medical high complexity lab (Tiburon) with three dozen employees and thousands of clients. He developed a commercial retail center and helped start up a charter school group with over 4000 students in two states.
Joe blogs and wrote columns in business newspapers and produced two podcasts.
10,000 hours, according to Malcolm Gladwell, is what it takes to gain true expertise on a subject. Joe has a history of changing horses at the 10,000-hour mark. He takes past experiences, digs in wholehearted to a new venture and reinvents his career and his life…about every 10,000 hours. On the air, Joe’s has interviewed politicians from Senator to dog catcher.
Joe is married to Chris Higgins and they have two kids a daughter and son.
STARTUP & ENTREPRENEURIAL EXPERIENCE
- Leman Academy of Excellence – Part of the founding board of the charter school. Involved in securing the charter with the States of Arizona and Colorado. LAE is the fastest enrolling charter school in Arizona and perhaps the US. There are over 4000 students in 6 locations including a full PreK division. The goal is to expand locations in Arizona and Colorado and grow throughout the US.
- Gotta Go Wireless CEO – founded in 1998 which grew from direct sales wireless phone distributorship to a 12 store chain in two states with 80+ employees and sales of $2.1 million. Gotta Go was the top dealer in the Country or region for Nextel, Sprint.
- Sports Buzz Haircuts CEO – was founded in 2003 and has grown to 9 locations employing 55+, in Tucson AZ. Franchise offering circulars, operation manuals, and licensing agreements are in place to franchise the concept around the southwest. Sports Buzz is still serving clients in the Tucson region.
- Silverbell Pavilion – Developer of mid-size retail center located on Tucson’s west side. Procured the land, secured financing, managed all construction and leasing.
- Talking Trash Waste Removal – CEO – was founded in 2004 and is a mid-size trash company with commercial and residential divisions. Sold in 2013
- Rainmaker Medical – CEO Consulting and service provider to medical practices in Tucson and Phoenix. The company places technicians in medical practice to manage complex services.
- Quality of Life Medical – QofL Research – COO – QLMC is a mid size medical practice with a dozen Providers, including, NP’s MD’s, PA’s interventional pain specialists, family Doctors, a physical therapy department, a laser skin aesthetics department. The research division conducted over 150 clinical trials the largest pharma companies in the world.
- QMed Weight Loss Clinics – CEO – Under the medical practice umbrella, created a bolt-on business to help patients lose weight. The goal was to create a franchisable business that could be added to medical practices around the US.
- Tiburon Diagnostic Laboratory – Turn Around CEO – In 2010 the lab was in total chaos, facing closure and regulatory shutdown, stepped in and in over two years stabilized the operation, navigated two major lawsuits and employee regulatory actions while securing re-certification and increasing volume by 32%.
- Emerald Care LLC – Doctor and Nurse Practitioner home health service provider in the Tucson Market. Doctor house calls are back with a focus on independent living homes in the valley.
- Arizona Small Business Association – Board President of 40 years old, 11,000 member trade associations based in Phoenix with offices in Tucson and Flagstaff. Launched and chaired ASBA’s public policy efforts to affect small business issues at a state level. ASBA is Arizona’s largest trade association.
- Arizona Medical Education Task Force – Appointed by Governor Brewer to oversee formation and merger of a public-private hospital group. UMC, Kino and UofA College of Medicine.
- Catholic Community Services – VP Board Member for 6 years of a $35m social service agency.
- Catholic Community Service Foundation – Founding Board President.
- Salpointe Catholic High School – Board Member – Executive Committee – 10-year member.
- Pima County Board of Supervisors – Candidate for public office 2008 – lost in the primary.
- Tucson Chamber Of Commerce –2004 Small Business Leader of the Year
- Arizona Daily Star –2005 40 Under 40 inaugural honoree.
- Business Leader of the Year – 2008 – Marketing – ASBA
BA, University of Arizona 1993, Tucson, AZ.
BOARDS & COMMISSIONS
- Banner Health – Institutional Review Board – Member – Current
- Sertoma Club of Tucson – President
- Foothills Club of Tucson – Service Club – Founder two-term President
- Mankind Project – 2003 initiate and staff leader
- City of Tucson – Small Business Commission (Chair), Environmental Services Committee, Citizens Sign Code Committee