JOE BARBAT:
 
JOE BARBAT




 
 
 
 
 
Founder and CEO, Wireless Toyz in Farmington Hills. Barbat pioneered the retailing concept of offering wireless communications from multiple carriers in a single store. He built the organization from a stand-alone kiosk he opened at the age of 18 into a multi-million-dollar company with 189 retail locations in 23 states. Barbat has created and implemented systems for every function of the business and oversees the strategic vision of the company. That includes real estate development, marketing programs, and negotiations for distribution agreements to sell products of major wireless cell and program providers. Wireless Toyz earned recognition in the 2006 Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing privately held U.S. companies, Entrepreneurís 2007 Franchise 500, and Entrepreneurís 2007 Fastest Growing Franchises. Barbatís success has also led to his recognition as one of Crainís Detroit Businessí 40 Under 40 for 2005.


WHERE BORN: "Southfield, Michigan."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "My father. Ever since I was a teenager, my father coached and developed me to become an entrepreneur. He was an entrepreneur all of his life. Heíd pick me up from school and take me to his place of business where I would watch and learn. I learned a lot from his mistakes and successes. He taught me to expand my horizons, as well."

LAST BOOK READ: "Enlightened Leadership: Getting to the Heart of Change by Ed Oakley, which is recommended by Stephen Covey. Itís about leaders and how some are born with leadership and some develop into leader personalities. It shows that some donít adapt to change and how others evolve and change and grow significant businesses. It was very insightful for me. I still look through the book in my office."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "A man of integrity who cares about others. Being in the franchise business, many entrepreneurs invest in this concept that I created. Many refinance their homes to enter the business, and itís gratifying to me to see others propel their own careers from this concept."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "Weíre planning on taking the company to 1,000-plus locations across the country. The company will become a household brand similar to Starbucks. When you think of cell phones, youíll think of Wireless Toyz."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "My BlackBerry Pearl. Itís a fantastic gadget thatís sleek-looking and has all of the tools that I need to run my business, personal life, music, and entertainment. Itís the best gadget out there today."

FAVORITE PLACE: "Miami Beach."

FAVORITE HOBBY: "Relaxing, hanging out by the pool, and sports."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Thereís so many of them. Iíd say a bacon cheeseburger and Skittles."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "Volleyball is a sport Iím passionate about, and I get myself involved in tournaments in Michigan all the time."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "As an honorable person and a person with a lot of passion."

At the annual awards reception in May 2015, one Leader & Innovator from the previous 12 months will be selected as the Leader & Innovator of the Year.