Joseph O'Donnell, MBA 1971

Boston Concessions

Interview conducted in June 2001

Joseph “Joe” O’Donnell, HBS 1971, started his first concession while still in high school, renting out tuxes for the prom at Malden Catholic High School near Boston. While at HBS, Joe started a service to help minority students find housing that led to an ongoing university program. Joe stayed on at HBS in senior administrative roles, but when his son was born with cystic fibrosis, he realized he would have to earn a lot more money just to cover the bills. He decided to strike out on his own and start a business. After some soul searching, he knew the service industry was where he fit, so he launched Boston Concessions, a leading supplier of food for sporting events, cinemas, ski resorts, ferry services, and a wide range of other venues. He described his experiences in a video interview at his office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in June 2001. Interviewer: Amy Blitz, HBS Director of Media Development for Entrepreneurial Management.

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