Joe Gagliardi deals in commerce, community

Community Portrait
By: Laura Newell Telegraph Staff Writer
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More than 15 years ago, Joe Gagliardi took the reins of the Folsom Chamber of Commerce and has never looked back. Gagliardi began working as the president and CEO of the business-boosting organization in 1994 and does not see an end anytime soon. “My job is always challenging and interesting,” said Gagliardi. “I love it. I get to tell the good news.” Before taking the post in Folsom, but after he graduated from California State University, Fresno, Gagliardi, worked as a civil engineer for Caltrans. Later, he took a job at an outside consulting agency. In 1982, while watching the World Series, Gagliardi met his future wife, Maureen. They were married three years later. “She is wonderful,” Gagliardi said. In 1987, the couple moved to Folsom from Pleasanton to have their first child. “We wanted to move to a community, and Folsom had a lot of potential for me jobwise,” Gagliardi said. “I also saw a community that was similar to Pleasanton — it had a historic downtown, a small community feel and growing potential.” Today the couple has three boys, Dominic, 22, Brian, 21, and Brady, 18. In 1989, Gagliardi started building a house for his family in El Dorado Hills. The house was complete in 1991, and with two young children and one more on the way, the family moved in. In 1994, while working in Sacramento, Gagliardi interviewed and received the CEO and president position at the Folsom Chamber. Gagliardi said at the chamber he mainly works to support local businesses, and at the Tourism Bureau, he mainly works to bring outside tourism to Folsom. “The majority of my professional life has been about promoting Folsom. When I’m in Folsom I’m promoting Folsom, and when I’m at home I’m promoting Folsom,” Gagliardi said. He said he has achieved many personal and professional accomplishments during his chamber tenure. He formed two organizations that he now oversees, the Folsom Economic Development Corporation (FedCorp) and the Folsom Tourism Bureau. Gagliardi said that professionally he was a lead developer in 1994 during the Intel expansion as well as with the Kikkoman development. “Personally, this job has allowed me to have my kids be a part of our community, and my job,” Gagliardi said. “My kids have always worked and volunteered at community events like the Folsom Rodeo.” Currently, Gagliardi is preparing for the Folsom Rodeo’s 50th anniversary in 2010. “We are looking forward to celebrating it because Folsom was a country town and it allows us to connect with our history,” Gagliardi said. He looks forward to revitalizing Sutter Street. “There are some exciting things coming up even in this hard economic time,” said Gagliardi. “Folsom has a lot of exciting things to offer.” Staff writer Laura Newell can be reached at