For the past 15 years, Joe Clark has been devoted to promoting systemic change in juvenile justice, foster care and educational initiatives throughout the United States. As president of the Eckerd Family Foundation from its inception in 1998 until its closing in 2013, he led the foundation’s grant making activities that focused on transformational interventions yielding measurable, sustainable outcomes for youth at risk between ages 12 – 25.
The foundation operated as a limited life organization that followed a planned spend-down model; over its lifetime, it invested and leveraged nearly $100 million to help our nation’s most vulnerable youth successfully transition from adolescence into adulthood. Major initiatives included youth in the juvenile justice system; youth aging out of foster care; and young people failing in school in Florida, North Carolina and Delaware. To promote its goals, the foundation established relationships with national and local foundations and also worked to develop public/private partnerships in each of its areas of interest.
Joe holds a B.S. in economics from Union College and a Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University College of Law. Prior to joining the foundation, he practiced civil trial law for 25 years in Tampa, Florida with the law firm of Shackleford, Farrior, Stallings & Evans, (now Gray, Robinson) serving on the board of directors and as president. He was designated a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer.
He has served as a consultant to the Juvenile Justice Task Force of Hillsborough County and on the national steering committee of the Youth Transition Funders Group, and the board of directors of the Connected By 25™ Initiative. Other community service includes Berkeley Preparatory School (board member and chair); Champions for Children (board member and chair); Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay (board of directors); Junior League of Tampa Advisory Board; memberships include the Florida Philanthropic Network; Tampa Bay Funders Forum (founding member); the Hillsborough County Bar Association and Sacred Heart Church in Tampa.