Seattle, Washington , United States
|| March 08, 1963
Oct 23, 2009 08:25pm
Caucasian - Married - Straight -
|Info||Joe Mallahan was born and raised here in the Northwest and is the seventh of nine children. Joe’s dad was a plant manager at a paper mill in Everett and his mom stayed busy raising the Mallahan clan. Together, Joe’s parents taught him the value of hard work, integrity, and service to others. |
At age 13, Joe knew he was a Democrat after his uncle, Rev. James Mallahan, insisted that he and his siblings stay inside one warm summer evening to watch the Democratic National Convention. Father Mallahan taught Joe that Democrats are the ones who stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.
Joe was raised to value the role that unions have played in building and maintaining the middle class. His father used to recount stories of Joe’s grandfather, a longshoreman in Bellingham, coming home bloody from the docks after fights with union busters.
Joe paid his own way through college, winning a scholarship to the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and working during college as a legislative aide to Congressman Al Swift and as a staff member of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Elections.
While working on the Hill, Joe received two pieces of advice that would influence the rest of his career. One political mentor advised, “There are enough lawyers in politics. Go prove yourself in business, and show that Democrats can be good managers of our economy and are good for business.”
The second suggestion came from Senator Scoop Jackson who told Joe that if he wanted to be a great leader, he had to “go study a different part of the world thoroughly, because too few American leaders really understand other cultures and history.”
With those words of wisdom in mind, Joe went on to earn a master’s degree from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, where he was awarded a fellowship from the Japanese Ministry of Education to conduct research on economic development aid for a year in Japan. Joe then travelled from Japan to Chicago, where he earned an M.B.A. in Finance at the University of Chicago.
At the age of 31, Joe was appointed President of Century Supply Co. a home improvement retailer with 250 employees and 10 stores throughout Chicago. During that same time, he became an active community organizer and helped establish United Power for Action and Justice, a 10,000-member civic organization. He was trained in community organizing by the Industrial Areas Foundation—the same group that trained President Barack Obama. Joe worked with church members, neighborhood organizations and unions to press city and state officials to improve services for the poor and working class. This experience instilled in Joe the firm belief that empowering neighborhoods creates safer and better communities, and forces city government to deliver services more efficiently.
Joe has worked for several companies where he developed a reputation for being a hands-on leader who excelled at bringing diverse groups of people together to solve complex problems, drive cost savings, and improve service.
Recognized for his ability to fix inefficiencies and develop creative solutions, Joe was recruited by VoiceStream, a wireless company that later became T-Mobile. This allowed Joe and his family to return home to Seattle in 2000. Joe is still with T-Mobile, serving as the Vice President of Operations Strategy.
Joe understands there is a difference between managing a city and managing a business, but he has been able to demonstrate that true leadership can make a big difference in both.
When a category-5 hurricane threatened the Gulf Coast last year, and millions of people were forced to evacuate, Joe knew it was critical for families to be able to stay in touch with their loved ones and communicate with local emergency services.
That holiday weekend, Joe quickly brought a team of experts together to try and fix what was a very complicated problem that he knew had to be fixed. They were successful and Joe led the effort that turned on phone services for free for 400,000 customers to make it easier to survive the crisis.
It is that same hands-on approach and decisive leadership that Joe will bring to City Hall. Joe has a history of focusing on the needs of people, and getting on the frontlines to fix problems before people and businesses are impacted.
Joe is well known as an open and accountable leader. For several years, Joe has led various cross-functional efforts that have resulted in greatly improved services for customers and material cost efficiencies that have allowed the company to lower rates while increasing profitability. Joe knows that the City of Seattle needs to get back to the business of delivering basic services more efficiently and he can lead the way to making sure taxpayers get the quality services they deserve and pay for.
Joe is also respected for being dedicated to his family. Joe, his wife Carolyn, and their two daughters live in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. Joe coached his daughters’ soccer teams for four seasons and is regularly a spot substitute referee for Woodland Park Soccer. Both of their daughters are enrolled in Seattle Public Schools. Carolyn served for five years as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in King County Superior Court. This experience has taught Joe and Carolyn about the challenges faced by children at risk. Joe and Carolyn are active supporters of TreeHouse, an organization dedicated to assisting foster parents fill the gaps in government foster care funding. Joe is a major fundraiser for City Year, a program where thousands of young people dedicate a year of service to youth. Joe and Carolyn have been long-time leaders and organizers of the Great Wallingford Wurst Festival, a family-friendly street fair held every September in Wallingford for the past 27 years.