Joseph M. Giaccone
Occupation:Cantor Fitzgerald | Vice PresidentDedicated Memorial Sites:Biography:
Joe Giaccone was a man of strong passions.
He didn't just like fine wine, he was a true connoisseur.
He didn't just like to cook, he loved to cook.
He didn't just put in time at his job as head of telecommunications for eSpeed, a division of Cantor Fitzgerald, he threw himself into creating and maintaining the firm's vital worldwide network.
"The word I would use about Joe was 'passionate.' He put his heart and soul into everything he did," said Jim Day, a family friend and former co-worker.
Take cooking: Mr. Giaccone, 43, loved to barbecue, but to him that meant so much more than tossing burgers on a gas grill. He insisted on charcoal, and was known to try homemade grilled pizza, lamb chops, tuna steaks -- the latter with a memorable puntanesca sauce.
"He loved to give people food," said James, one of his two younger brothers. "That's what he loved: a house jammed full of people, with him running from room to room serving everybody."
Mr. Giaccone, his wife, Sondra, and their two children, Alex and Max, moved into their "dream house" in Monroe Township just seven months ago -- a house whose stove he hand-picked. "He just got his big new Viking oven -- that he can't even use now," Day said.
Over the years, Day's workplace friendship with Mr. Giaccone expanded to include their wives and children. He counted Mr. Giaccone as his mentor. "He knew how to combine hard work with compassion," he said. "He looked to his employees' strengths, not to their shortcomings."
In an twist of fate, Mr. Giaccone was the catalyst behind the company's provisions for a "disaster recover site" in Rochelle Park, which has allowed the company to continue doing business after the destruction of their World Trade Center offices.
Sondra Giaccone said that on a clear day, you could see the World Trade Center from the front bedroom of their new house. "Joe would always joke that he would flash the lights when he was coming home," she said.
Profile by Kathleen O'Brien published in THE STAR-LEDGER