Joseph A. Hardy III
Joseph A. Hardy III (born January 6, 1923) is the founder and CEO of the 84 Lumber Company.
Joe Hardy was raised by middle class parents in the jewelry business, but the experiences of the Great Depression taught him the value of hard work. To support himself in college, he sold fresh fruit door to door.
After Hardy graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in industrial engineering, he took the advice of a close friend and opened the Green Hills Lumber Company. After a few years, in 1956, Hardy joined his younger brothers, and together they opened a “cash and carry” lumber yard in the rural town of Eighty Four, Pennsylvania. Hardy liked the name of the small town and decided to name his new company 84 Lumber.
Because of his successful management of the company, 84 Lumber is now the 3rd largest home improvement chain in the United States. This was accomplished largely by keeping overhead low and adopting a 'no frills' warehouse-style approach to most of its stores (many of which are unheated, even in cold-climate locations), as most of its clients were commercial customers not overly concerned with aesthetics or the like. However, as new home construction waned in recent years, some stores have taken on more of a look and feel to appeal to retail customers.
Hardy also developed the Hardy family-owned Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. The resort features three hotels, including Falling Rock hotel and clubhouse, Woodlands Spa, an Off-Road Driving Academy, a shooting academy, and multiple onsite restaurants. The resort is also home to the Mystic Rock golf course, designed by Pete Dye, and was home to the PGA Tour's 84 Lumber Classic from 2002-2006. Hardy celebrated the 84 Lumber Classics extravagantly, providing the crowds with concerts that included Rocket Star, Smash Mouth, and the Black Eyed Peas.
In addition to his involvement in 84 Lumber and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Hardy began a 4 year term in 2004 as Vice Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Fayette County where he lives. Hardy is leading a multi-million dollar renovation of Uniontown, the largest city in the county, donating millions of dollars to support street and building improvements and construction of green spaces. Hardy has received various awards from the local community for his charitable donations.
Hardy announced on Sunday, September 9, 2007 at a tailgate party at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort that he is backing out of the 2007 general election for Fayette County commissioner. Hardy finished first in vote getting in the 2007 primary for Fayette County commissioner.
Hardy and his first wife (for 50 years), Dorothy, had five children, the youngest of whom, Maggie, is now president of 84 Lumber. With his second wife, Debra, he has two daughters, Taylor, and Paige. 84 year old Hardy married Kristin Georgi, a 22 year old salon employee at Nemacoln Woodlands Resort. Having agreed a pre-nuptial and wedding contract, the wedding took place on Saturday, May 5, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. On Monday, Aug. 20, 2007, Hardy filed for divorce, with the petition citing irreconcilable differences.
Hardy has recently been quoted saying, "I want to die broke. For the remainder of my life, I want to enjoy and participate in the giving of money to help improve people's lives."
Hardy had a lavish 84th birthday party on January 6, 2007 at his Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania. Performers included Bette Midler, Robin Williams, and the cast of A Chorus Line. Christina Aguilera was on hand to sing Hardy "Happy Birthday", as well as "Beautiful". Hardy's tablemates included Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, and former Pennsylvania Governor and former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge.
- http://www.84lumber.com/about/biography_joe.asp?type= Joe Hardy - Founder and CEO, 84lumber.com Web Site, (Accessed on 03-18-2007)
- "Woman, 24, ditches billionaire hubbie, 85, after 3 months’ marriage because he's 'sex mad". Sunday Mirror. 2009-08-02. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
- "W&J: Board of Trustees". W&J College Website. Washington & Jefferson College. Retrieved 2010-02-28.