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No Average Joe

From tax credits to financial services, biz exec Joe Sanberg is paying it forward.

Investor and entrepreneur Joe Sanberg, seen here at Eisenhower Park in Orange, is providing a path for everyone to achieve economic success.

Joe Sanberg began his career on Wall Street but left, disillusioned, six years ago for his native California to build businesses and champion public policies that solve problems and improve the quality of life for everyone. “Many Americans do not trust the financial industry to have their best interests at heart,” notes the Harvard grad.

His statement is telling of his dedication. Most recently, he helped Gov. Jerry Brown create an earned tax credit for the low income. “Two-thirds of those eligible… have already claimed the credit,” he says. “It’s going to help families pay for food, rent, clothing and transportation.” He’s also the co-founder of Aspiration, which delivers banking and investing services. Then there’s Blue Apron, which provides home-delivered ready-to-prepare healthful meals. He’s a founding investor in that company. And he’s involved with Bright Funds, designed to make philanthropy easier for companies and their employees.

But there’s more. While Sanberg recently moved to L.A., he keeps strong ties to O.C. He’s on the board of regents at Servite High School in Anaheim, where he graduated valedictorian in 1997. He created a leadership program there that sends 20 students to China each summer. Twice a month, he volunteers at the Casa Teresa Shelter in Orange (the only one in the area for embattled pregnant women), where he teaches residents good budget practices. “Most of all,” he says, “I teach them that they can make good decisions.”

And, from time to time, you can find him at Eisenhower Park in Orange, where his single mother who raised him lives nearby. “I bring my dog, Bruce, here; I just love the place.” Bruce is a mixed mutt. Rescued, of course.

Public service, dogs, the Los Angeles Lakers (love ’em), the ocean, California (no other state is even a close second)

Greed, cold weather, the Celtics (hate ’em), unkindness, decaffeinated coffee (why would you decaf good coffee?)