Joe grew up in a working class household in Washington. His parents opened a small mechanical contracting company out of their garage when he was five years old, instilling in him the value of hard work at a young age. He is a product of Washington state public schools, including graduating from Western Washington University in Bellingham, and the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance.

Joe grew up working at restaurants, a car wash, and in retail. Prior to joining the Legislature, Joe spent the past decade working at the local, state, and federal levels of government, most recently serving in Governor Jay Inslee’s office as the Northwest Washington Regional Representative and previously as WWU’s Assistant Director of Government Relations. He has served on boards with the City of Bellingham and the Bellingham Food Bank.

Joe and his wife Heather live in Bellingham with their son, Malcolm, close to where Heather grew up.