Joel N. Myers is founder, president and chairman of the board of AccuWeather, Inc., an American commercial weather service. AccuWeather provides forecasts and data to over 175,000 clients around the world and serves millions more through its free website, AccuWeather.com. AccuWeather's global headquarters is located in State College, Pennsylvania, and employs more than 400 people, over 70% of whom are Penn State graduates.
Myers is a native of Philadelphia, PA. He became interested in weather as a child, and by age seven had decided he wanted to become a meteorologist. He first conceived the idea of founding a commercial weather company at age eleven.
A graduate of Philadelphia's Central High School, Myers began his college career at the Ogontz campus of The Pennsylvania State University, transferring to main campus as a sophomore. He went on to receive his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in meteorology from The Pennsylvania State University in 1961, 1963, and 1971, respectively.
Myers has been a weather forecaster since November 15, 1962 when he began forecasting the weather for a gas utility company in Pennsylvania while he was a graduate student at The Pennsylvania State University.
Myers served on the faculty of Penn State from 1964 until 1981 as instructor, lecturer and assistant professor and had taught weather forecasting to approximately 17% of all practicing meteorologists in the United States upon retirement from active teaching in 1981.
Myers has authored more than 75 articles and papers on a wide range of technical and business subjects and has given hundreds of speeches and presentations. He has appeared on The ABC Nightly News, To Tell the Truth, Larry King Live and has been quoted in Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, National Geographic, The Economist, USA Today, Reader’s Digest, Forbes and in more than 500 magazines and newspapers. As a weather broadcaster for 18 years, he has been seen and heard on major media nationwide and is generally considered the nation’s most respected source on the business of meteorology and how it affects industry and consumers. The New York Times in 1971 called Dr. Myers “the most reliable man in the forecasting business.”
Myers has been called upon several times by the U.S. Congress, National Research Council, and U.S. National Weather Service to testify as an expert on weather forecasts and information and on the respective roles of the government and private sector weather services.
Myers was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurs as one of the 528 greatest entrepreneurs in American history. Myers has also served on the Board of Directors of Team Pennsylvania since 1998, where he has been appointed by three Pennsylvania governors. Among his numerous awards and recognitions are the National Weather Association Individual Achievement Award (2004), the Ernst & Young Western Pennsylvania Entrepreneur Of The Year Award (2003), the Theodor Herzel Award of The Jerusalem Fund of Aish Ha Torah (2000), election to the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame (2000), and the American Cancer Society’s Excalibur Award (1998).
Myers founded AccuWeather in 1962 as a consulting practice serving commercial customers. The company's first full-time employee was Elliot Abrams, now AccuWeather Chief Forecaster. AccuWeather began to serve television and radio clients in 1971 and subsequently expanded to newspapers. The company launched a free website, AccuWeather.com, in 1996. By 2007, the company's website for wireless was ranked as the tenth most visited wireless site in the United States.
Other business interests
Myers has long had an interest in business and investments. He is a certified Commodity Traders Advisor, and operates futures and hedge funds as principal of Weather Prophets, Inc. He also continues his lifelong interest in education as a Pennsylvania State University Trustee, a position which he has held since 1982. Myers lost his seat on the Board of Trustees in May 2014 when he failed to acquire enough votes from the Alumni.
Controversy and criticism
Myers faced criticism in 2005 when he supported the National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005, a bill introduced by U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) that would have prohibited the National Weather Service from publishing weather data to the public when private-sector entities, such as AccuWeather, perform the same function commercially. . Myers has been a long-time large donor to the Republican Party, its candidates, and to Santorum, his home-state Senator.   Santorum was accused of political impropriety and influence peddling in his interactions with Myers and he subsequently lost his bid for re-election.
- "Penn State University - Board of Trustees". psu.edu. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- Anthony Hallett and Diane Hallet. Entrepreneur Magazine Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurs. New York: Wiley, 1997. ISBN 978-0-471-17536-0
- "Board of trustees election results announced". psu.edu. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "Text of S.786". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
- Hefling, Kimberly (2005-05-27). "Critics Question Timing of Santorum Bill". ABC News. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
- Masters, Jeff (2005-06-20). "Update on the National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005". Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog. Weather Underground. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
- Noah, Timothy (2005-08-02). "Santorum's Mighty Wind". Slate.com. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
- AccuWeather.com AccuWeather website