2022 40 Under 40: Jorel Joseph

One word to describe you: Maximizer

A maximizer is an individual who constantly seeks the optimal outcome for any business. Maximizers tend to be perfectionists, but the terms maximizer and maximizer are particularly associated with decision-making processes rather than describing a generally uncompromising approach to life.

Foster mother: Wagner College

Fun fact about yourself: I was captain of Wagner’s soccer team.

Favorite station or stop that you have already visited or frequented (and why): Union Station in Washington, DC is a true work of art and serves multiple modes of public transportation: train, bus, subway, and microtransit.

Favorite station or stop that you have already visited or frequented (and why): The Pacific Surfliner Train in Southern California provides passenger rail service from LA to San Diego. In some parts of this service, you face the beaches of the Pacific Ocean; it is one of a kind.

Jorel Joseph arrived in transit after a career in finance and customer service left him wanting more. He found a way to impact communities and push boundaries through new technologies and methodologies in his business development role at Keolis.

Joseph is a first-generation American and credits his parents with instilling in him a work ethic and sense of community from an early age. This motivation, coupled with his natural leadership abilities, made developing technical skills in his transition and growth in the transit industry a smoother (but not without challenge) road. As a member of the business development team, Joseph’s technical proficiency increased with each bid submitted and/or special project, resulting in more responsibility and autonomy.

Joseph has secured three successful deals during the pandemic and has led deals for more than $80 million in revenue per year for the past three years. In his current role, where he is described as a master of time management, he leads the preparation and execution of oral presentations to agencies and supports contract negotiations, while serving as an integral member of the team and project manager for multiple winning bids, creating in-depth proposal sets including financial analysis, models, pricing and compelling technical writing. He strategizes and works with C-suite executives to establish winning strategies based on delivering personalized services and cost mix for each proposal.

Joseph’s need to positively impact communities extends beyond professional boundaries. He partners with former student-athletes — he was captain of his NCAA D1 football team — to help build sponsorship of a prize for select business school undergraduates to visit New York and meet with companies like NBC, Goldman Sachs and others. He has also volunteered for a non-profit organization, Crossover Academy India which is a basketball/college camp for orphans and underprivileged children in India comprised of current and former college athletes. There he was directly instrumental in creating a certification program for select coaches and trainers in India, allowing them to run their own camps with support/equipment from Crossover.

In addition to his leadership in volunteer activities, Joseph continues to focus on his professional development outside of work. He recently completed the Eno Center for Transportation’s Transit Mid Manager Accelerate program and participated in a program at the London School of Economics and Political Science focusing on data analysis and visualization for management, a critical skill for his career. career progression.

Is there a particular experience that brought you to where you are today?

I can’t name any specific experience, but I can talk about when I made the decision to get into business development within the transit industry. As I completed my seventh year of accounting and finance career, I found myself looking for more. I was interested in contributing to the creation of a company. A company that has measured success beyond favorable profit margins, but through the quality of a product that impacts communities. As I learned more about transit, the highest quality product is safe, reliable, innovative and fair.

What do you like most about your job?

I like that business development is fast and requires poise to work under pressure. The stakes are high. As a former athlete, I know it takes a lot of training and work ethic to compete at a high level. It may sound corny, but the same boost I got from succeeding in football I get from winning deals for Keolis.

What is the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part of my job is that so many things have to go right to win a bid. My mentor once compared winning an auction to a perfect round of golf. A golf swing is a very technical movement, the slightest adjustment in a swing can have a significant impact on the trajectory of a golf ball. Other elements, such as obstacles, weather, and location, can all impact a round of golf. And like golf, the bidding process for business development is a highly technical process and many factors must be clicked to win.

What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

Public transportationThe 40 under 40 list.

Best advice/tricks/best practices to share in your area of ​​expertise?

Business development requires a short memory. Generally, a 20% success rate is considered a pretty good one. Bids are hard work, and with a one in five chance of winning, you have to get up after a competing bid has been selected over yours, dust yourself off, and come back to win the next bid.