Meet Joe Sanberg: A Man for Others

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Meet Joe Sanberg: A Man for Others

Joe Sanberg

Joe Sanberg

Joe Sanberg

Joe Sanberg

Joseph Beaird, Staff Writer

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He started his career on Wall Street where he observed greed and a lack of concern for the needs of the less fortunate. This experience motivated him to develop solutions and create companies to address challenges in society.

Born and raised in California, Joe Sanberg attended Servite and is a member of the Class of 1997. He is a 2001 graduate of Harvard University. He is Chairman of the Board of the Jefferson Awards Foundation, serves on the Board of Advisors for the University of California Riverside School of Public Policy, and is a member of the Servite Board of Regents.

After completing his Harvard studies, Sanberg set out on a career path in investments. He saw a focus on making the wealthy wealthier and instead took a different route, developing investment ideas to help the middle class. He is co-founder and chair of the Board of Advisors of Aspiration, an investment company aimed at the middle class. Aspiration helps investors gain access to premium investment opportunities and choose the amount of asset management fee they pay for those investment products.

Recently, Sanberg spoke to Servite alumni and parents about the Internet’s impact on business changes. He shared his insights with The Spokesman about leadership and social consciousness.

Sanberg described social consciousness as “Our fundamental responsibility to heal the world through service. Our charge as leaders is to reach out to those who are ignored or left behind and ensure they know that they matter and that people care about what happens to them.”

One of Sanberg’s main goals is giving back to the less fortunate. He is a founding investor of Blue Apron, a provider of home-delivered, reasonably priced meals for individuals and families. Blue Apron is just one of the start-up companies he is involved with.

Mr. Sanberg is also involved with Roominate and Bright Funds. Roominate is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) toy company that is targeted for young girls to inspire a new generation of engineers. Bright Funds helps consumers support the causes they care about.

Mr. Sanberg says, “A common virtue of a true leader is being service-oriented. Leaders focus on meeting the needs of others and, because of their ability to do so, people look to them for further leadership.” A vital aspect of leadership is practicing one’s faith, according to Mr. Sanberg. His experience at Servite instilled this value in his heart.

He told the story of a time where he had to miss school to honor his Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. When he informed Coach Toner about his absence, Coach Toner responded by saying:  “Mr. Sanberg, if you are ever at Servite on Yom Kippur, I will have you expelled!” Instead of striking fear into his heart, Mr. Sanberg took this response as encouragement to be faithful to his practice of Judaism.

When asked about the effect that Servite had on him, Mr. Sanberg said, “Servite affirmed for me that the act of giving must be authentically selfless and focused on the other, not on the self.”

One of the causes that Sanberg gives himself to is Servite. Three years ago, he went to school administrators with an idea to develop an international component to Servite’s Formation Program. The idea evolved into the Sanberg International Leadership Program. It includes an initial focus on China with study of Mandarin and will involve a future trip to China for Servite Mandarin students.

Not only did Sanberg bring the International Leadership Program idea to Servite, he agreed to fund it for the first six years. He made a commitment of 1.2 million dollars.

Michael Early ’18 is one of the students participating in the Sanberg International Leadership Program. “I am enjoying studying Mandarin and learning about the Chinese culture,” said Early. “I appreciate Mr. Sanberg’s generosity and making it possible for Servite students to travel to China.”

When asked why he gives, Mr. Sanberg explained: “I give to solve problems. I scrutinize the recipients of my giving because I want to see the maximum positive impact generated from my giving.” From Mr. Sanberg’s example of giving himself to serve the common good of others and practicing his faith, we can see that he is a leader who lives out his values as a man for others.

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