Highlights from "The Impossible Road..."

Overcoming a Learning Disability

Joe Massaro says he’s a lucky guy, but luck got a leg up from his swift business instincts, street smarts, and perseverance. After discouraging academic performance through high school, Joe tapped into a passion and innate talent in the 11th grade when he took a shop class. After 10 years of failure and summer school, Joe got his first “A” and discovered his aptitude for drafting, building, and mechanics.

 

Good to Great

Recruited by his uncle who ran a sheet metal business in Westchester, NY, Joe went on to build, run and eventually own Elmsford Sheet Metal, which he grew into the largest sheet metal producer in the Mid-Hudson, NY, Region. Joe’s business instincts and “no means go” drive propelled his success in the construction industry and his entrepreneurial vision fueled the creation of East Coast Sheet Metal, a software development company that broke new ground in sheet metal productivity.

 

1980 Olympics: Risky Recession Pivot

Where there are ups, there are downs. During the Carter Administration, building and construction came to a standstill and Joe had to pivot to keep his business afloat during the recession. Time for a crazy idea: The Winter Olympics were coming to Lake Placid, NY, in 1980 and there was an opportunity to make a lot of money as a ticket vendor. Not as easy as it sounds -- Joe exhausted Plan A through Plan ZZ to pull off a monumental undertaking, including the construction of an entire village for attendees. His Olympic odyssey is a nerve-wracking adventure -- But Joe somehow manages to land bruised, but unbroken.

 

Petra Island and Building Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece

Joe often took his rowboat out on Lake Mahopac as a kid. He was always fascinated by Petra Island, but ferocious guard dogs deterred him from getting a closer look at the grounds. A few decades later, Joe had his chance to tour the island and the Frank Lloyd Wright cottage that was built by the previous owner. Joe was invited to an event on the island to raise funds for the construction of the main house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, which was commissioned by the homeowner along with the cottage, but never built. Joe was hooked. He had to buy that island and build that house, but how?