Self-made “Arkansas small business owner,” Joe was born and grew up in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Upon graduation from NorthsideHigh School, he was awarded a full college scholarship for physics. Instead of completing college, at 19 he started an electronics repair shop in Sapulpa, OK with his oldest brother but eventually moved to Fayetteville, AR to work in concrete construction and electronics.
After developing a patent for a construction tool with a friend, this introduction to the machining industry caused Joe to start Maynard, Inc at the age of 24. That same year, 1982, he married his wife, Kim. Over 30 years he has grown Maynard, Inc from an electronics repair and installation company to a company with a national reputation for producing high quality parts in both the commercial and aerospace industry.
After Maynard, Inc began OEM parts manufacturing, in 1992 Joe started his second company, Word Machinery, Inc., which builds and assembles machines. Under Joe’s direction, these companies eventually developed their own manufacturing software (Ability 585) for internal use. Ability LLC became a third and separate company in 2009, created to finish and market ERP manufacturing software as a product.
Joe and Kim have three children and two grandchildren. His son, James, joined his business in 2002. Joe opened a new division for specialty manufacturing in Wichita, KS—the home of the aerospace industry, in 2007. By 2008, Joe had grown his companies to over 150 employees. Perhaps a bi-product of the downturn in the economy in 2008 and a multitude of other reasons, Joe became interested in the political process, especially since he could then so clearly see its potential for negative effects on his family, as well as his business interests.