Joel Showalter, CPA '96 has had a successful career building and leading businesses, using his vision and tireless work ethic. He currently serves as the Executive Vice President and CFO of J.D. Fields & Company, Inc., one of the nation's largest distributors of pipe and piling for the oil and gas and construction industries. Under his leadership, the company has grown nearly fourfold since he joined in 2016, thanks to his financial oversight and strategic decision-making.

Joel is now applying his skills and passion to help Bloomsburg build a pipeline of donors to provide additional and sustainable student support. Joel and his wife Kelly '96, who met at Bloomsburg as first-generation students, recently pledged a generous $25,000 contribution which J.D. Fields & Company, Inc. matched to support the Huskies All-In Giving Challenge once the fundraising event reaches 800 donors.

Joel credits his success in business to his work ethic and ability to build lasting relationships—two tools he attributes to developing during his time at Bloomsburg. Now, by volunteering and helping to grow the foundation of overall donor support, he hopes to contribute to more long-term success for Bloomsburg students.

"Bloomsburg is where it all started for me. I was just a kid from Reading, PA, far from an adult and far from being ready to live on my own," says Joel. "But Bloomsburg helped me prepare for the future. I made a lot of great friends and created many lasting relationships. They are the people and experiences that defined who I was."

From intramural sports to the QUEST program to joining Alpha Chi Rho and eventually becoming fraternity vice president, Joel cherishes every relationship and experience he had as a Bloomsburg undergrad student. He especially values his experience as an accounting major, where professors like Dick Baker, Ph.D., pushed him to strive for success.

"The Accounting Department provided us with so many great opportunities," Joel adds. "They set up a job fair for accounting majors where the 'Big 6 'accounting firms were on campus, and I received an offer for my first job at Ernst & Young while I was still a senior."

Joel has worked at several different companies throughout his career, highlighted by nine years at General Electric and now seven years at J.D. Fields & Company, Inc. Joel has succeeded at both large public companies and small private companies. He attributes his ability to navigate both environments to his Bloomsburg education.

Joel and Kelly have always felt they owed part of their success to their Bloomsburg education and believed strongly in giving back. In 2022, with their oldest son Gavin attending college, and his younger son, Owen, and daughter, Emma, in high school, they felt inspired to reconnect with Bloomsburg. Joel filled out a form online to volunteer and heard back from Mary Howe, Director of the Zeigler Institute for Professional Development (ZIPD).

"Mary reached out and asked me if I'd like to be on a panel for the ZIPD conference, and it has just taken off from there," Joel adds. "Giving back is more than just making a gift for me. It's about rebuilding a relationship with the school and connecting with students. Showing them that a graduate who went to a Pennsylvania state school can accomplish anything."

For Joel and Kelly, the decision to make their gift was easy after reconnecting with the Bloomsburg community.

"We always knew we wanted to give back. We're now fortunate enough to be in a position to do something more significant," says Joel.

In addition to being inspired by all the incredible opportunities available to students at Bloomsburg today, Joel and Kelly wanted to make their gift to Bloomsburg after going with their son, Gavin, to his freshman orientation at Texas Christian University.

"Seeing the endowment at TCU really opened our eyes," Joel adds. "Bloomsburg had only 2.5% of the endowment that they do, and the students coming here need it more. We just hope our gift might inspire others to join us in doing the same."