TITLE: Director of Corporate Giving
FUNDING AREAS: Education, arts and culture, women's health, HIV/AIDS, the environment, domestic violence
PROFILE: Joseph (Joe) Vella is director of corporate giving for Macy's, Inc. He serves on the executive advisory board for the University of Florida's Warrington College of Business Administration, where his bio reads:
The entire time Joe Vella majored in Marketing at The University of Florida, he knew he wanted to become a buyer for Burdines Department Stores, based in Miami. Upon graduation from UF in June 1979, Joe began to pursue his dream by entering into the Management Training Program at Burdines that same Summer.
Assistant Buyer in Furniture, Sales Manager in Textiles at the West Palm Beach Burdines location, Buyer in Gifts and Holiday Trim, then Buyer for Tabletop Housewares. In 1986, Mr. Vella was selected to become the Buyer for Special Corporate Projects ........where he developed the “BEARDINES” plush bears for the Holiday 2006 Season. Over 250,000 bears were sold that year, generating almost $1,000,000 Gross Margin Profit Dollars!!
From 1988 until 1992, Joe was an Assistant Store Manager for Burdines, including Dadeland. While at Burdines, now Macy’s Florida, Joe became synonymous with the United Way and his leadership in the Corporate Campaigns there.
In late 1992, Joe moved “West“ to Dallas/ Ft. Worth, Texas to accept a position as a Buyer for Pier 1 Imports. For 2 years, Mr. Vella traveled the globe in search of and developing unique items that Pier 1 is so respected for. His travels introduced him to countries such as India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Greece, and even Ghana, West Africa! Joe remained committed to the United Way, serving on the Pier 1 Imports Corporate United Way Committee for 2 years.
Joe moved to Atlanta in early 1995 and worked as a Produced Design Director for Trade Am International, a privately owned wholesaler of Area Rugs and Home Textile Products. In addition to product design out, Joe was also responsible for the merchandising of Trade Am’s showrooms in Atlanta, High Point, NC and New York City. His time at Trade Am took him to India 4 –5 times per year!
Joe returned to Federated Department Stores in December of 1997, as the Home Fashion Director. He worked with the 4 Home Divisions, establishing color, style, merchandise theme and marketing direction. In February 2002, Joe was promoted to the Divisional Vice President of Community Affairs, his current position. He is responsible for leading the Partners in Time Employee Volunteer program at Macy’s South, in addition to administering the Macy’s Fund of Federated Department Stores Foundation for Macy’s South. Joe was selected for this position not just because of his leadership skills, but also for his passion for Community and serving others.
An alumnus of Leadership Atlanta Class of 2006, Joe serves on the Board of Directors of Project Open Hand, Atlanta; Camp Best Friends; and the Metro Atlanta Corporate Volunteer Council. Joe believes that "we are only on this earth for a short period of time ........ it’s important to learn as much as can, work as hard as we are able to, and make life for others more tolerable however possible!"