For Joseph Scala, charity is a family matter

Pay it Forward


Joseph Scala

Commercial sales and marketing manager

Monroe Equipment Inc.

Nonprofit served: American Cancer Society; Alzheimer’s Association

Service: Ambassador and chair of Walk to End Alzheimer’s

All of the charitable work that matters most to Joseph Scala can be traced back to family.

Credit: Lila Aryan Photography

Long before Scala, commercial sales and marketing manager for Menomonee Falls-based Monroe Equipment Inc., dove into volunteerism, his family upbringing laid the groundwork for service.

Born the youngest of eight children to parents who immigrated to the United States from Sicily, he didn’t have a lot growing up. But in his tightknit family, Scala’s parents taught him “whatever you have, you share it with others.”

“I feel that so much of what I am is attributable to having a strong family unit,” he said. “My siblings are a huge influence on my life. My elder brothers and sisters have been great role models of how to treat people with respect, of having empathy and caring about others. That’s been a big part of our lives from the very, very beginning.”

At 16, Scala lost his father to cancer, which prompted him to become a lifelong volunteer for the American Cancer Society’s Wisconsin chapter. More recently, Scala’s mother passed away at age 88 after struggling with Alzheimer’s in her later years, and it inspired his involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Wisconsin Chapter.

Today, Scala serves as an ambassador for the American Cancer Society in the Fox Valley. He uses his platform to bring awareness to the cause through everyday actions, like sporting an ACS lapel pin daily, wearing pink throughout the month of October, networking in his professional circles and participating in various events to raise awareness.

He also currently chairs the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Appleton for the Alzheimer’s Association, helping coordinate the annual event and using his marketing expertise to promote it.

Scala also lends his vocal talents to various causes, singing the national anthem at dozens of charitable events around the state.

“Most meaningfully, I do a lot of veterans’ events,” Scala said. “Those are really amazingly meaningful because you have the pageantry and the flags and the uniforms and it’s an amazing thing to experience firsthand.”

Ultimately, Scala sees all of his work as an opportunity to honor his parents.

“My most guiding principle is I want my parents to be proud of me, whether I’m 5, 15 or 45,” he said. “…The opportunity to help others and make those close to you proud of you is a huge passion of mine and I believe it always will be.”

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