Joseph Cohen

Partner, 26 Years at Gil-Bar

Joe Cohen, current Partner at Gil-Bar Industries, is an example of Gil-Bar’s unrivaled dedication to their clients and the value the company places on hard work and passion. No matter the time of day, on weekends and vacations alike, Joe is always available and puts his clients’ needs first.

As a first-generation American, Joe rose above humble beginnings, starting his education at trade school, before enrolling in Stony Brook College, where he graduated with a degree in Economics. He began his career working for a mechanical contractor, where he met Joe Sbarra.  Also born and raised in Brooklyn, Joe Sbarra shared more than geographic roots with Joe Cohen.  He also exemplified the work ethic, skills, and professional personality that Mr. Cohen aspired to achieve. Soon after meeting, Sbarra invited Cohen to join Gil-Bar and become his personal inside assistant.

Over time, Joe’s responsibilities expanded to include direct client services, as well as a leading role in the company’s finance, insurance, and receivables operations. One of his favorite aspects of the job is the puzzle-solving required: he provides the essential skill of creating innovative ways to solve the engineering and site requirements of each job.  Today, Joe spends most of his time preserving and deepening client relationships.  In a time when many younger architects and engineers rely on emails and texts for much of their client communication, Joe continues to prize in-person interaction.

His rise at the firm reflects one of Gil-Bar’s greatest strengths: their ability to accurately judge character and capability in their employees, and to provide opportunities for them to do their best work. Joe’s lack of an engineering degree didn’t stop Gil-Bar from hiring him or fostering the growth that resulted in his current role as Partner. As he’s fond of saying: “My career at Gil-Bar proves that a savvy mind has the ability to excel here at the highest level.”

Joe attributes his success to a combination of drive and an ability to learn whatever is needed to advance himself and the firm at any given time.  Joe is inspired by his father, an immigrant to the United States who speaks 8 languages. His father was an entrepreneur, operating his own retail business. Upon retirement, Joe’s father became a successful, self-taught value investor, proving that drive and dedication is all you need. “It’s all about getting the work done, doing the right thing for our clients, and working your way up.”