Over 15 years ago, while working for a Silicon Valley tech company, NCRD's President and co-founder Joe Kapp was involved in a severe automobile accident that would utterly change the trajectory of changed his life. Recognizing the fragility, impermanence, and randomness of life, Kapp quit his job, shed his belongings and went backpacking through Asia to learn what he could by traveling alone in remote areas, in places where he could not communicate. From staying in a Buddhist Monastery in Northern Thailand to riding a Yak on the Tibetan Plateau, Kapp learned about adding life to one's years by focusing on the importance of purpose, intentionality and mindfulness to craft a life well-lived.
Kapp, a serial entrepreneur, started and sold his first business, a video production company, in college. Since that time he has started numerous other successful ventures and nonprofits. In 2015, Kapp was invited to participate in the first ever White House Demo Day with President Obama, where a wide-range of talented innovators and entrepreneurs from across the country were showcased. In Fall 2016, under the Obama administration, Kapp was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, to serve on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE). In 2018, Kapp's work on rural and Appalachian poverty issues focusing on the intersection of farming and coal impacted communities, entrepreneurship, and community colleges was highlighted as the cover story in the Washington Post Sunday Magazine.
Kapp has over 10 years of experience working in the technology industry, having advised Fortune 500 companies on the use and implementation of new and emerging technologies. Kapp worked in KPMG’s Washington National Tax Practice advising on knowledge management and tax technologies. Kapp also served as a consultant for KPMG’s Information Risk Management Practice performing security and technology risk audits for clients. Kapp also served as a Customer Relationship Management (“CRM”) technical account manager for Siebel Systems (now Oracle), consulting to Fortune 500 companies and government clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Glaxo Smithkline, the Virginia Department of Taxation and the National Association of Securities Dealers, among others, on CRM best practices and the integration of software in corporate environments. Prior to this, Kapp worked as an eCommerce consultant for the Federal government division of Compaq Computer (now HP’s), a help desk administrator for Verizon’s fledgling Internet service and as an assistant local area network administrator for the City of Philadelphia Public Health Department.
Kapp has also served as the President of the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC. During the seven years of his oversight and involvement, the chamber grew significantly by expanding its membership, increasing programs and advocating on behalf of its members, ultimately conducting events that attracted well over 1,000 attendees. Kapp then started successful financial planning practice, where he worked with numerous small and medium business clients and managed millions of dollars in client assets. Kapp sold his financial planning practice to focus on entrepreneurship endeavors and workforce development.
More recently, Kapp has served as the Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Eastern WV Community and Technical College. In that capacity, he has been working with farmers, growers and coal affected communities to increase entrepreneurship, capital investment and economic diversity in Appalachia and economically challenged communities. In his work, Kapp secured over $750,000 in funding for the college and launched a new business accelerator in the Potomac Highlands of WV. In recognition of his work, Eastern WV Community and Technical College was awarded the 2015 Innovation Award from the Community Colleges of Appalachia.
Recognized nationally for his work, he has authored numerous articles including an article for the peer reviewed Journal of Financial Planning, which was cited as part of the official record for a United States Supreme Court case. In addition, Kapp has been quoted in numerous articles from the Associated Press, AARP, the Washington Business Journal, the Washington Times and Investment News, among others. Kapp has written numerous articles and currently writes for the Huffington Post. Kapp is also an internationally published author, co-writing a Japanese book about essential driving skills in the USA.
An inspiring leader, Kapp is a sought-after, dynamic speaker who has spoken at a many organizations including the World Bank, KPMG, Discovery Communications, the US Departments of Commerce, State and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others.
Kapp holds a Master’s degree in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania and his Bachelor’s degree in economics from Florida State University.