Joe Grafton

Program Manager, Learning & Development

Joe Grafton

As the Learning and Development Program Manager, Joe works in direct support of our Instructor Network and works to develop and enhance our programs and learning experiences. Joe brings a deep understanding of local businesses, economic development and entrepreneurship to the team. Prior to joining Interise, Joe worked in support of local entrepreneurs in Greater Boston and beyond for nearly two decades. He was the founding Executive Director of Somerville Local First, a network of nearly 300 locally owned businesses and later the Director of Development and Community Engagement at the American Independent Business Alliance. Joe then co-founded Rethink Restaurants, a training and consulting firm dedicated to bringing Open-Book Management to the restaurant industry, where he led the development of a groundbreaking curriculum for restaurant owners and their teams.

What do I care about?
I care deeply about the pursuit of Justice and believe that our best chance to create it is by developing strong local, equitable and resilient local economies driven by community-based businesses. I believe that one of the most important ways to achieve social justice is to pursue economic justice and that our work, to grow and develop entrepreneurs and the businesses they are guiding, can be the catalyst to transform our communities.

Why Interise?
I have spent nearly 20 years working with entrepreneurs from all over the country and across a broad spectrum of industries. Before joining the team at Interise, I looked at the organization as a shining example of what is possible when we equip these entrepreneurs with the skills, know-how and connections to pursue their dreams. In doing so, I know that these entrepreneurs build stronger local economies and create pathways for wealth creation for their teams and communities. I can think of nowhere else I’d rather be.