Co-owner, Kelley and Katzer Real Estate, LLC; Age 38
Joe Kelley says it all started with a hard read of Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal while on a family trip to West Palm Beach when he was in high school.
“My mother was always looking for something to light my fire,” he recalled. “So she got me that book; I read it cover to cover.”
Actually, that book only solidified plans he’d mapped out years earlier — plans to get into real estate, to own his own business, and to make some significant deals of his own.
At age 38, Kelley can say that pretty much every one of those goals has not only been met, but exceeded. He got into real estate soon after graduating from college, and before he was 30 he had launched his own real-estate company. A few years later, he partnered with Christine Katzer to create Kelley and Katzer Real Estate, LLC, a firm that has grown to two offices (in West Springfield and Feeding Hills), 10 agents, two administrators, and $52 million in sales in 2020.
As for deals … Kelley has been managing partner in several investment firms that oversee residential and business rental properties, new construction of residential homes, and renovation and resale of homes. Recent development initiatives have included everything from residential subdivisions — Angelica Estates in Westfield and Somerset Heights in West Springfield — to a medical office facility in what was a Knights of Columbus hall in Palmer.
But the success story Kelley is authoring himself includes much more than achievements in business.
Inspired by his parents and their strong track record of giving back, Kelley has been very involved in the community, supporting everything from the West Springfield Boys & Girls Club to Rays of Hope; from the Sister Caritas Cancer Center to local Little League teams.
Maybe the best example of his commitment to helping others, though, was an initiative he and the team at Kelley and Katzer launched during the height of the pandemic called Friends Helping Friends in the Community, created to assist struggling residents and businesses alike. Businesses were asked to partner with Kelley and Katzer and sponsor a restaurant that would supply bag lunches to the Parish Cupboard to give out.
When not working or helping in the community, Kelley said he’s spending time with his family — his wife Keri and sons Teddy (2) and Harrison (11 months). They enjoy going on walks and playing in the backyard.
— George O’Brien