Joseph Kanfer

Founding Director

Joe Kanfer is Chair and Venturer of GOJO Industries. Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, GOJO is a world leader in the field of hygiene and skin care products for institutional markets and known as the inventor of PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer. Joe is also a venture investor in the United States and Israel. He is Chairman of Startvest Partners, which develops biotech startups in Israel.

Joe is active in national Jewish affairs and is the past Chair of JFNA/The Jewish Federations of North America, the coordinating organization of the North American Jewish community, which includes the 155 Jewish communities of North America. He served on the board of the Jewish Agency for Israel and is past Chair of JESNA/the Jewish Education Service of North America, the Akron Jewish Federation and The Lippman School. He currently serves as Chair of Honeymoon Israel, a new venture to bring young couples to Israel and foster Jewish community when they return, and on the board of Leading Edge, an alliance dedicated to enrich the leadership pipeline in Jewish nonprofits.

Joe is a member of the Executive Committee of the Greater Akron Chamber Board of Directors. He is the past Chair of Akron Tomorrow and past Vice Chair of The University of Akron Board of Trustees.

He holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Joe is married with four children and 13 grandchildren.