It's truly been a "long and winding road" for Joel. From childhood he had imagination and a remarkable memory.(now the memory not so remarkable)
Joel's father Dr. J. L. Clark was a veterinarian, business man, farmer, rancher and philosopher. He operated veterinary practices in western Oklahoma and later in Coffeyville Kansas. He now resides in SW Missouri.
Joel's mother Dr. Mary Jo Clark an outgoing educator and traveler to which no one was a stranger. She spent much of her career as a school administrator then in later years held a teaching position at the University of Foreign Trade in Shanghai China.
As with many farm children Joel operated farm equipment from his early grade school years. Working with his father & older brothers Joel was involved with many facets of the agriculture business in addition to operating fruit and vegetable sales outlets and performing door to door sales. Working at the Animal Hospital he experienced everything from basic animal care, assisting in surgery to lab & pharmacology.
Nearing the end of 6th grade Joel envisioned growing organic* cucumbers. He negotiated for the land, seed & equipment then plowed, planted and nurtured. When harvest time was drawing near, he realized he had two small problems. Labor and Transportation.
Harvesting was difficult work without the special equipment. Without a drivers license he had to negotiate transport. Atkins Pickle Company would buy all he could deliver but "delivery" proved to be most difficult.
He tried a percentage deal with "dad", hiring dad's office assistant then her boyfriend and his girlfriend and even a transient.
He set up a commission structure with his older brother and a friend (who had a license and a car) but it was still inadequate.
Joel gained some valuable lessons that summer but little profit.
Coming from a long line of teachers. His mother, grandmother, great grandmother as well as some aunts and uncles were educators. It's funny that school didn't agree with him, or he with it whichever the case.
After trouble in Jr. High and High School, at age 14 Joel spoke with Dr. Russell Graham the local College President about taking classes at the college to evade the truant officer.. By 17 he was graduating.
During this time Joel and his father took on another project to recreate the animal shelter to be more humane, efficient and sanitary. With the help of many others were able to completely change the way animals were housed, handled and placed.
Joel spent the next several years working in the automotive industry, achieving some of the highest levels of training and certification in his field.
He had been involved with small business ventures throughout the years and had pursued adult education and similar activities. His personal library includes thousands of books, computer based training, audios and seminars.
In 1998, tired and unfulfilled, Joel made a decision to start his own business.
After watching an infomercial (one of many) he was drawn to a seminar (one of many). The subject, "discount buying". After the initial seminar piqued his curiosity he laid down his money got a plane ticket and went to learn more.
Although the instructors were well versed, these groups make their fortunes as "broker mills" making handsome livings saturating the market with "cash flow brokers" or as they are called now "cash flow consultants".
Realizing that the information given was grossly inadequate and somewhat misleading, he made arrangements to seek further training. Still unfulfilled He started making calls to see who had the information he needed. Before he was finished he had made connections and collected a database of factors, note buyers, investors and related financiers that rivaled anyone or any single business directory anywhere.
Joel's database included funders from Noteworthy, The Paper Source, Discount Buyers Association, American Cash Flow Association, Commercial Finance Association, International Factoring Association, Factors Chain International and beyond.
He attended conferences, collected books and tapes until he was satisfied that he had more "resources" than any competitor.. and he did. At this point in addition to brokering transactions he began to finance a few transactions himself.
Joel continues to serve as a consultant with Diversified Resources working with businesses around the country providing advice, better relationships on factoring and credit card processing where he maintains an A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau.
He also created a Give Back Program that allows Small Businesses, Nonprofits, Churches & Community organizations to save money on their credit card processing and at the same time give back a percentage of transactions to the nonprofit of their choice. (including themselves)
As their two daughters were starting their own lives, Joel and his wife became more involved with a local mission. It seemed to have lost support due to derision within the local church "alliances" and within the board.
He made sure the homeless shelter was to be reopened and help set the stage for purchasing a new distribution center building & thrift store to support the mission.
After several months of hard work & allowing the homeless to fill the voids left by the exodus of churches and volunteers they were able to create a substantial positive cash flow.
They moved from a donor & church dependent entity to a self sustaining corporation. This allowed for upgrade, repair and provided sufficient resources to help start and market among other things a local support group, a dental clinic and what would soon be a larger & safer facility.Recycling was implemented, more energy efficient lighting, equipment & procedures were introduced to the current facility along with plans to create a garden and a move toward total sustainability.
The TV lounge was removed and a library/resource center was added to the shelter. Systems were put into place to create a more stable transition to the workforce.
Life skills classes were implemented, learning programs & materials were added both computer based and book form from basic reading to speed reading and from basic math to calculus.
Business Development, Merchant Services, Alternative Finance, Organization, Trouble shooting, Web Design, Office Applications, Interviewing, Mechanical & Electrical Diagnostics, Non-profit
International Factoring Association, Better Business Bureau, SCORE, Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Neosho Chamber of Commerce, Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce, Joplin Chamber of Commerce, Homeless Coalition & others
*Organic: Joel himself to this day has never used an inorganic chemical fertilizer or pesticide in the growing of produce. There is however a condition of years prior for the land to be listed or marketed as "organic"
**Sadly the preceding president & board did not share Joel's vision. It was reported that within a short period of time that the hard earned, bank accounts were depleted, positive cash flow shattered and successful programs dissolved.
Born in western Oklahoma and grew up in south east Kansas.
Entered college at 15 receiving his degree at 17.
Move to southwest Missouri in the early 80's where he currently resides.
Joel has been involved in business finance since late 1998. Always the entrepreneur his objective is to help small business understand their options and make more informed decisions
Through his nonprofit work & philanthropy his goal is to do what he can to make this world a better place for all of us and our children.
Joel is a strong believer in fair play, lowering waste, alternative energy and the fight against corruption, dishonest business practices, government officials, and human suffering.