For 26 years, and counting, Joseph “Joe” Pascale has been a staunch supporter of the Didlake mission as a member of the Board of Directors.
“I have always worked with individuals with disabilities and I think it’s important to support organizations like this that provide opportunities,” said Pascale, who initially joined the board at the suggestion of Rex Parr (former Didlake CEO) and a couple board members. “We have grown so much from a small company to where we are today. Didlake is at the forefront for providing opportunities for people with disabilities.”
He has served in several leadership capacities, including as board chairperson and vice chairperson. Pascale noted he has seen the organization expand into other geographic areas like Virginia Beach, Roanoke and Carlisle, Pa., as well as into new business areas like Didlake Imaging and The UPS Stores.
“Joe has been integral to Didlake’s success over the years as we’ve expanded our breadth of services and increased the number of people with disabilities we serve. We have been fortunate to have Joe’s support for a quarter of a century and greatly appreciate his dedication to our mission,” said Donna Hollis, Didlake CEO.
Pascale’s dedication to enriching the lives of people with disabilities began long before he joined Didlake’s board. His first job was working with children with physical disabilities at Bordentown Training and Resource Center in Bordentown, NJ. Later, while coaching football at George Mason University, he worked with the Mason Learning into Future Environments (LIFE) Program to have students with intellectual and developmental disabilities participate within the athletic department.
“He has always tried to find opportunities for people with disabilities. He worked with George Mason to get students with disabilities to work with the team and is a big supporter of our efforts to partner with Mason LIFE,” said Joleen Okun, Vice President and Corporate Counsel, Didlake. “He has always been willing to take a leadership position with the board, acting in various capacities. He’s seen Didlake through a lot of change over the decades and continues to do so. He’s helping us with a new era of getting into some fundraising efforts. He is always advocating on behalf of Didlake.”
Pascale is known as the father of George Mason University football, having founded the football club in 1993 and served as head coach until 2008. He was the head coach at Catholic University from 1972 to 1984 and is recognized in the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame as the winningest head coach. In between, he was the assistant coach at Georgetown University. His coaching career also includes stints at Gallaudet University, University of Maryland, Bloomsburg University and Bristol High School.
He has worked for Fairfax County Schools for 53 years as a teacher, guidance counselor and administrator.
In his spare time, Pascale is often busy restoring old homes and rebuilding a family distillery. About 10 years ago, Pascale and his wife purchased the trademark for the Rohr McHenry Distilling Company, a rye whiskey distilling company in Benton, PA that was previously owned by his wife’s relatives. The distillery operated from 1812 to 1937. In 1911, a fire destroyed the 10-story bond house, destroying all but one of 17,000 barrels of maturing whiskey. It was rebuilt and reopened until prohibition forced its doors to close once again. Pascale is restoring an 1850 mill as the new home for the distillery and is working to get it added to the National Register of Historical Places.