University of Michigan Gateway Ford School

Biographical Profile - Joe Fitzsimmons

Joe Fitzsimmons earned a degree in Chemical Engineering from Cornell and in 1957 started work for Xerox Corporation. He was sent to Ann Arbor in 1966 to help with the development of a recent acquisition- University Microfilms. "I quickly fell in love with the business, the people and certainly the community", Joe recalls. He was appointed President in 1976 and over the years UMI gained international prominence. Despite the demands of the business, Joe served as the first president of the Hands-On-Museum and together with Bob Lyons co-chaired several capital campaigns. He also was an adjunct lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Information. After retiring from UMI in 1995, he ran as the Republican nominee for the U.S. Congress. Soon after, Joe concentrated on his passion of "helping to improve the quality of life in our community". From 1999 to 2001, as CEO of Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW), he led this organization to more effectively serve nonprofits. Later, as vice president and treasurer of the Washtenaw Housing Alliance, he was instrumental in raising $8.7 million for the county's state-of-the-art homeless shelter. In 2001, his civic contributions were recognized when he and fellow volunteer Judy Dow Rumelhart were named Citizens of the Year by the Ann Arbor News. In addition to being on the Boards of the Bartech Group, Siena Heights University, SJMHS, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and others and a recent President of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor, Joe likes to collect books, play golf, and check in with his 5 children and 9 grandchildren.  | 
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University of Michigan Gateway Ford School Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy