After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with an Engineering degree, Joe joined the family's Hardy & Hayes jewelry company. Yet, at the age of 31, and with the burning desire to build his own business his own way, Joe left Hardy & Hayes. At the suggestion of a friend, Joe looked into the building materials supply business and opened Green Hills Lumber. A few years later, Joe pooled his resources with his two younger brothers and a friend to purchase a tract of land in the rural town of Eighty Four, Pennsylvania. There, in 1956, he opened a 'cash and carry' lumber yard focused on professional home builders in the tri-state region of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Joe liked the sound of the name of the small Washington County town and decided to name his new business, 84 Lumber Company.
In addition to 84 Lumber Company, Joe founded Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, one of North America's premier resort destinations. The lavish AAA Four Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide 4 Star resort features three hotels, including the AAA five diamond Falling Rock boutique hotel and clubhouse, the Forbes Travel Guide Five Star-AAA Five Diamond Lautrec restaurant, the internationally acclaimed Woodlands Spa, 36 holes of golf on the Links Course and the Pete Dye designed Mystic Rock, a sporting clays Shooting Academy, Equestrian Center, Jeep® off-road driving course, and 14 additional on-site restaurants and lounges among a multitude of amenities.