Joseph (Joe) Kessler is managing partner and co-founder of the Next-Stage Development Group LLC, a five-partner business consulting and angel investment group started in 2001 to help to bring companies to the “next stage.”
Kessler started his career in leasing and finance. As President and owner of Executive Auto Leasing, he grew this fleet leasing company through the creation of a strong internal sales force and then through a series of acquisitions until the company itself was acquired by SunTrust Bank. Kessler continued with SunTrust as SVP and division CEO. Through this valuable experience, Kessler knows bank borrowing and lending practices from both sides of the table.
He left SunTrust and co-founded Next-Stage in 2001 then later co-founded two existing finance companies, Bethesda Funding LLC (buys receivables from national banks) and Bluescale Capital LLC (factoring and asset-based lending).
He on the boards of directors of Gold Lasso (software) and Global Edge Group (oil and gas industry staffing), has advisory board roles at Cliqued (social media marketing) and Personal Web Assistant Corporation (IT), and served three years on the board of MHR Technologies (RFID).
As Managing Partner for Next-Stage, Joe served as a mentor and panelist for the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, the MIT Enterprise Forum, and ASM Resources. Kessler was a judge for business plans submitted to the American Security Challenge.
Community Activities: Kessler is board member and immediate Past President and Chairman of Premier Homecare, Inc.. He is also chairman of the MCPS Information Technology Collaboration Board and immediate Past President and founding member on the board of the Montgomery County Students’ Information Technology Foundation (ITF). As part of his passion for music, Joe is tour manager and co-producer for the Otis Taylor Band.