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Past Speakers

Joe Kanfer

Chief Executive Officer of GOJO Industries Inc.
Joe Kanfer is Chairman and CEO of GOJO Industries. Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, GOJO is a world leader in the field of hygiene and skincare products for institutional markets and known as the inventor of PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer. Joe is also a venture investor in the United States and Israel. He is Chairman of Startvest Partners, which develops biotech startups in Israel, and of HeadSense, a company focused on measuring inter-cranial pressure and concussion. Joe is active in national Jewish affairs and is the past Chair of JFNA/The Jewish Federations of North America, the coordinating organization of the North American Jewish community, which includes the 155 Jewish communities of North America. He served on the board of the Jewish Agency for Israel and is past Chair of JESNA/the Jewish Education Service of North America, the Akron Jewish Federation, and The Lippman School. He is also a Founding Chair of Lippman Kanfer Foundation. He currently serves as Chair of Honeymoon Israel, a new venture to bring young couples to Israel and foster Jewish community when they return. Joe is Chairman of the Advisory Board of Bits and Atoms Innovation Center, a catalyst for new companies and job creation and a member of the Executive Committee of the Greater Akron Chamber Board of Directors. He is the past Chair of Akron Tomorrow and past Vice-Chair of The University of Akron Board of Trustees. Joe received the 2011 H. Peter Burg Award from the Greater Akron Chamber and the 2015 Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award from the Akron Community Foundation. He holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Joe is married with four children and 12 grandchildren.