As part of Joe’s passion for business, he co-founded Next-Stage Development Group LLC in 2001 to offer investment capital and hands-on experience that helps bring promising companies to the “next stage.”
Before this, he spent over 20 years in finance with his own company, Executive Auto Leasing, which grew through a strong internal sales force, loyal customers and a series of acquisitions until the company itself merged with SunTrust Bank. Kessler continued with SunTrust as SVP and division CEO. Through this valuable experience, Joe knows bank borrowing and lending practices from both sides of the table.
He left SunTrust in 2001 and started Next-Stage right away as its managing partner. Later he co-founded three other finance companies that specialize in non-bank lending, including Bethesda Funding LLC (buys receivables from national banks) and Bluescale Capital LLC (factoring and asset-based lending).
He on the boards of directors of Gold Lasso (software for native advertising), Global Edge Group (oil and gas industry staffing), Cliqued (social media marketing) and Personal Web Assistant Corporation (IT), and served three years on the board of MHR Technologies (RFID).
As Managing Partner for Next-Stage, Joe served as a mentor and panelist for the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, the MIT Enterprise Forum, Wharton School Innovation Summit and ASM Resources. Kessler was a business plans judge for the American Security Challenge.
Community Activities: Joe is President of the Montgomery County Collaboration Board and is Past President and founding member on the board of the Montgomery County Students’ Information Technology Foundation (ITF) – all of which just means he helps local students with career education. Until the end of 2016, Kessler was Past President and Chairman of Premier Homecare, Inc.. As part of his passion for music, Joe is tour manager and co-producer for the Otis Taylor Band.