Joe Harris is both a seasoned offshore sailor as well as an experienced commercial real estate executive, having been engaged in both activities for over 30 years. Joe grew up in Greenwich, CT and attended Brown University, graduating with a degree in Political Science (and lacrosse) in 1981. His twenties were spent working as a boat-builder in New England and a commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay, Alaska, where his dream of sailing round the world was born. In his late twenties, Joe went back to school to get an MBA from the Olin School of Business at Babson College, graduating in 1989.
Over the next thirty years, on parallel tracks, Joe advanced his career in commercial real estate, offshore sailing and got married and had three kids! In business, Joe worked for the Bank of Boston as a commercial real estate and construction lender, then Raymond Property Company as a developer, then New Boston Fund Inc. as a CFO, then formed his own company called BroadReach Development Group, Inc. to do real estate investment, development and project management.
On the sailing front, Joe advanced from a local club racer on fully crewed boats to an experienced offshore single and double-handed racer, sailing across the Atlantic four times in addition to numerous passages to Bermuda and the Caribbean and distance racing in Europe. In 2015/16, Joe completed a 152 day solo, unassisted sailing circumnavigation of the world by way of the three Great Capes, including the famed Cape Horn, joining a select group of only 140 sailors that have achieved this goal.
On the family front, Joe has been married to wife Kim for 23 years and has three kids- son Griffin- age 18; son Emmett- age 13 and daughter Sophie Grace- age 10. The Harris clan enjoys all types of team sports, with a particular focus on lacrosse, as well as other outdoor activities such as sailing and skiing.
Joe has put together a highly entertaining multimedia presentation describing his relentless pursuit of his dream to sail around the world and the various bumps along the way. In fulfilling this dream, Joe has accomplished what many only dream of. His theme of perseverance, adaptability, hard work, and pursuit of ones goals is relevant to any walk of life.
Please feel free to contact Joe by phone at 617-519-6455 or email at Jharris@BroadReachDev.com
View brief highlights from one of his speaking engagements here:
"Joe Harris came out to the Edgartown Yacht Club this summer at my invitation and wowed our membership with a well-told story of adventure, determination and perseverance. The presentation was a well-crafted combination of photos and videos set to music that kept everyone on the edge of their seats as Joe took us through the notorious Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn. We all reflected on the fact that only 137 people have sailed solo around the world by way of the three great capes and crossing the equator twice, many fewer than have flown in outer space or summited Mt. Everest. It was quite an accomplishment, and Joe tells the story in a spellbinding way that I think would appeal to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.”
Chairman & CEO / Jack Morton Worldwide
“Joe Harris recently came to Chicago and spoke to the members of the Great Lakes Singlehanded Society at our annual meeting. We all thoroughly enjoyed the multi-media presentation and our members continued on with questions well into the night. Joe’s steadfast, 30-year pursuit of his solo circumnavigation goal is an inspiration to many of our members who are just starting their journey towards excellence in solo sailing. The “Follow Your Dreams” message resonated on all fronts.”
“Joe Harris recently spoke to our Maritime Gloucester community and the audience was fully engaged by his personal story, the beautiful photos and video, and his articulate but conversational speaking style. Joe’s recounting of his around-the-world solo voyage transported us to the far corners of the world and reminded us all to never lose sight of our dreams. I would recommend Joe as a speaker to any group - whether educational, civic or business -- looking to be inspired or motivated by one man's journey.”
Executive Director, Maritime Gloucester
Joe Harris presented to the Explorers Club in April 2017 in New York during our annual conference aptly named “Sailing Stories.”
We selected Mr. Harris in recognition of his fine accomplishments and contributions to our appreciation and understanding of the sea and sailing. We were so delighted when he joined us as a speaker at the Explorers Club, a leading non-for-profit organization focused on exploration and scientific discoveries.
Speakers at our Club have included the astronaut Buzz Aldrin to National Geographic’s Sylvia Earle to Sir Edmund Hillary of Mt. Everest fame.
Since many in the attendance were accomplished sailors who actively explore the oceans, the audience was amazed by Mr. Harris’ discussion about pushing multiple boundaries which included sailing single-handed around our planet.
The Explorers Club - Fellow