Founder and President
Joe is the energetic and dynamic leader of Sullivan. He founded Sullivan in 2001 when he realized that an important market segment was being under-served by existing benefits brokers. Middle-market employers in Florida were simply not getting the care and attention that they deserved. Joe created Sullivan with the purpose of providing organizations with the best customized solutions possible, delivered with incredible care and attention. Since the time of its founding, Joe has grown Sullivan from serving two clients out of his kitchen to serving 35 middle-market employers from the Sullivan office.
Joe entered the world of employee benefits when he took a position with Mass Mutual’s Group Health division in 1988. Initially trained in underwriting, Joe served in Mass Mutual’s Baltimore, Syracuse and New Jersey offices. In these roles, Joe’s focus was in underwriting large group benefit plans. In 1994 Joe moved over to Oxford Health Plans, which was later acquired by United Healthcare. After working in New Jersey, Joe was transferred to Tampa, FL when Oxford acquired a minority interest in St. Augustine Healthcare. Once in Tampa, Joe found his permanent home and realized his passion for creating an organization in which he would be able to serve his clients to the best of his ability and on a more personable level.
Slowly, Joe has grown Sullivan into what it is today; a brokerage company whose business approach is to create needed, cost-efficient, and innovative solutions for employee benefit programs that will help organizations thrive. His goal is to build partnerships with his clients based on trust, integrity, and excellent service.
Joe is a product of upstate New York. He grew up in Buffalo and lived there until enrolling at Hamilton College. After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree at Hamilton, Joe studied at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He has his Life, Health and Variable Annuity License (215) and Property & Casualty License (220) from Florida, along with several additional states within the United States.
After the passing of their first son, Sammy, Joe and his wife Brenda dedicated themselves to creating Sammy Sullivan Charities. This organization’s purpose is to keep Sammy’s memory alive by helping others in their time of need. They partnered with A Kid’s Place, a local charity in Brandon, to build a home, Sammy House, in order to provide a safe haven for children in need. This 12 bed home at the Kids Charity Village gives Joe and Brenda the ability to give back to the community, to give comfort to others in their time of need, and keep Sammy’s memory alive.
Along with Sammy Sullivan Charities, Joe also dedicates himself to the community by partnering with several charities including Lokey Charities, Smiles of Tomorrow, Autism Speaks, Pediatric Cancer Foundation, and many more. As one of the most philanthropic small business owners in the Tampa Bay community, Joe strives to make Sullivan a company that reinvests in the future. Joe has a strong belief in mission based non-profits, and has inspired the company’s strong commitment to Community Health Centers over the years.
Joe and Brenda are the proud parents of their two surviving children, Matt and Brooke who inspire them everyday.