To say that Joe Prewitt has Arizona in his blood would be a real understatement.
His family roots go back to his great-grandmother who was born in Yuma in 1870. That’s five generations of family folklore. Their history and heritage have done much to shape this man.
“My grandfather was a real inspiration to me and much of what I’ve done in my adult life was to honor him,” says Prewitt. “Both my father and grandfather worked in the food and restaurant business and I suppose that influenced me to do the same.”
That led him to follow a similar career path and a life of service to community. Joe worked for Proctor and Gamble and other food companies for nearly 40 years, selling fats and oil products to restaurants. He likes to joke that he was just a “fat salesman.”
Years later, Joe served on the board of the Arizona Restaurant Association and he – just as his grandfather – was a longtime member of Phoenix Rotary 100, the oldest Rotary Club in Arizona.
“Rotary is all about ‘service above self’ and that’s what makes it so special to me. It also provides a community of people with similar values,” says Prewitt, who recently served as the centennial chair (2014) and club president (2016).
During the 2014 celebratory year, and under Joe’s irrepressible leadership, the club raised money and helped build a World War II Memorial at the State Capitol that features guns from the warships USS Arizona and Missouri. “This was the best way we could celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Arizona... saying thanks to those who served us,” he said.
Joe and his wife, Lynda, have a daughter, Kathryn, who they adopted when she was just two weeks old. He calls that his life’s “aha moment” as he came to truly understand what his parents and grandparents had done for him. “Parenting is a gift to be had and treasured,” he says with a bit of emotion.
The Prewitts were away from the Valley for a time as Joe’s career took them all around the country. They happily moved back in 1993 and have no plans to leave. “We love Arcadia and all that it has to offer to families.”
Accordingly, Joe now sells homes and promotes the iconic neighborhood above all others.
When asked what wakes him up in the morning, the avid-golfer says, “a really good challenge.”
“I can be relentless when I think I have a good idea and especially if someone tells me that it can’t be done,” Prewitt admits with a steeled look. “And something I never want to hear is that ‘we’ve always done it that way.’”
So fair warning to anyone who questions the resolve of this “fat salesman” to get something done, or stands in his way. Fat chance you’ll succeed!