Nice Guy Finishes First: The Back Story – Beyond the Cars

Joe Levy and Jim Steuer

Joseph Levy, Jr., Chairman of Levy Venture Management

Joe has extensive collections including vintage toys, match safes and mechanical banks plus countless photos, paintings, letters from friends and business allies adorn his office walls.  His pocket watch collection started with a single watch that was his grandfather’s and grew to include a watch given to General Lafayette in 1782 for his service from the people of France.  He amassed and then donated his collection of Will Rodgers memorabilia to the Will Rodger’s museum in Oolagah, Oklahoma.  He also collected Evanston, Illinois artist Walter Burt Adams’ paintings, many of which he donated to the City of Evanston.  The first day I met Joe I got a tour of the garage and saw the Flintstone mobile.  Really?? The Flintstone mobile?  For years Joe drove it in Evanston parades – just for fun.

Joe has been a strong supporter of his alma maters, Culver Military Academy  and a ’47 graduate of Northwestern University  His contributions to Northwestern was so extensive that when the Business School was being named, Dean Jacobs asked Joe if he’d like the school named after him, but Joe turned it down because he said he didn’t need the publicity.  The Levy name is attached to several programs at the school and on three Senior Centers that he and his lovely wife Carole have built and donated to communities in the Chicago area.

Through and through, Joe is a giver.  Newcomers to the group might get Joe’s “Make it Happen: A Handbook for Entrepreneurs” book, or an angel pin or some other token of welcome.  Joe has published several books on his collections, entrepreneurship and other interests and is an ongoing inspiration on what can be done when you, as Joe says it, “take your foot off the bag.”

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