Joe Taravella

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City Founder

Joe Taravella - Founder, President Coral Ridge Properties (CRP)

Joe Taravella FounderA New York native, Joe Taravella served alongside Admiral James S. Hunt in the United States Coast Guard during WW2. Taravella became one of the three founding fathers of Coral Ridge Properties (CRP) in 1950. Stephen A. Calder severed ties with CRP in 1966. Hunt died in 1972. This left Taravella with the large task to lead Coral Ridge Properties into the next phases of development in Coral Springs and continue the vision.

Taravella was educated at Fordham and Columbia University. As a child, he was one of the original "Whiz Kids" on nationwide radio.

Former Mayor Ed Heafy described Taravella as “having a sharp, brilliant super business mind, a man who preferred to stay in the background but said if there was ever anything they needed to let him know.”

Heafy shared a perfect example of Taravella’s leadership style and generosity with an incident in the early 70's. “The first pieces of sod had just been laid at Lions Park. Using one of the fire pump trucks, a small team had arrived to water the sod late at night. A car pulled over in the outfield and the driver watched while the men sprinkled the sod.” The next day Heafy received a letter from Taravella thanking the men and soon after that about $4,000 worth of sod was delivered for the field by Taravella.

Widely known as one of the nation’s foremost authorities on land and community development including financials and environmental aspects Taravella was a much sought after Public Speaker and champion of the free enterprise system. From 1974-1978 Taravella was selected to chair the Florida Council of 100 for four years in a row. This Council advised top state executives on matters of economy, commerce, and industry.

Through his many business endeavors, Taravella befriended noteworthy individuals. His many obituaries covered by all the local papers described his funeral as having "luxury cars clogging the streets". Attendance rose to nearly 1000 at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Ft Lauderdale. Florida Governor Reubin Askew (a close personal friend), Broward Congressman-Elect Sherriff Ed Stack, Joe Robbie, Robert Kirby Chairman of Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Representatives from Coral Springs including Mayor Ed Heafy, Vice Mayor Ben Geiger and many Coral Springs residents.

Geiger said the very private man didn't want anyone to know of his illness.

When asked if he thought Taravella was proud of the progress of Cora Springs. Geiger said "He never took the time to stop and be satisfied. He was still thinking down the road for ten years. He was a man of vision, beyond the grope, he was always out in front that's what made him a leader."

Joseph Taravella passed away on Thanksgiving Day from Multiple Myeloma Cancer. He was 59 years old. Taravella had two sons Joseph Jr. in Ft Lauderdale, and Mark J, in Coral Springs.

Robert Hoffman succeeded Taravella as Coral Ridge Properties President. Hoffman was quoted after Taravella’s death by saying “He leaves with us a legacy of leadership by example. He was an innovator and a motivator and drove no one harder than he drove himself.”

J.P. Taravella High School opened in 1981 and was named for our city's founding father and leader.

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