Getting to Know Joe

Aug 31, 2023 | News, Uncategorized

I was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming. We moved 30 miles outside of town to a place called Table Mountain (between Cheyenne and Laramie), where we lived for several years before moving back to Cheyenne where I grew up until I attended college in Montana. Growing up out in the country was a wonderful experience, and I still feel a bit claustrophobic if I can’t see the horizon. We lived off a long dirt road that had nothing around it except open land. During the winter, when it was dark and the snow was raging in the Wyoming wind, my mom would turn onto the dirt road that would take us out to the house and tell me, “Keep looking out the window. If you see cow eyes, it means we have gone off the road.”

Married for 20 years to Kristi Nelson Foy (labor and employment attorney with the law firm of Ogletree and Deakins).

Children: Connor (15) entering freshman year of high school; Keira (11) entering middle school; Gavin (9) starting fourth grade.

Last Book You Read?
As I transitioned out of Alverno College to come to Benedictine, the incoming Alverno President, Christy Brown, gifted me the book The First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins, which has been very helpful in thinking about how I am approaching my new beginning at BenU. I am reading that along with a selection a day from St. Benedict’s Rule to help me get fully immersed into the Benedictine legacy of the University. Prior to these, the last full book I read was Bono’s autobiography Surrender. I love how that was written, which was more ephemeral than any other biography I have read. It read more like song lyrics than a biography, which fits perfectly Bono’s voice.

Favorite Hobbies Outside of Work?
I love to cook, especially on the grill. Recipes for me are more a guideline than a rule, however, so I don’t know I have ever made the same dish the same way twice. I also enjoy gardening and work out in the yard. While I don’t get the time I used to, I enjoy cycling quite a bit. I once did a solo ride from our home in Delafield to meet my family at my in-laws in Green Bay on day one and then up from Green Bay to Door County to meet my wife for a weekend getaway. I love music of all kinds, movies, books, and attending my kids’ events and activities.

I Can’t Live Without…?
A cup (or two) of coffee in the morning, music in the car, and my family helping me to maintain perspective and remind me always of what is most important in this life.

Favorite Quote?
My kids would probably tell you it is: “Hi hungry. I’m dad.” In reality my favorite quotation is one from MLK: “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” That quotation is a powerful reminder that while things seem overwhelming now, through a commitment to doing what is right and holding onto enduring faith, we will see a better tomorrow. It gives me hope and grounds me with critical perspective.

Little Known Fact(s) That People Would Be Surprised to Know About You?
I think people are often surprised that I am a highly empathetic introvert. This does not mean that I do not enjoy large events and lots of people. I do, and I have come to enjoy those experiences even more over time. I like meeting and talking with people, and I enjoy being in front of large crowds. But, when those engagements are over I am completely wiped out and drained from it.

Also, I am not big on cakes or cookies or traditional desserts, but I do love candy. Gummy bears, Hi-Chews, Salt Water Taffy, Charleston Chews, Peanut M&Ms and Jelly Bellys are all staples that I sneak way too often.

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