J. EDWARD "JOE" CECALA '66
General Manager, The Watson Hotel
J. Edward “Joe” Cecala is receiving the third Legacy Award for his astounding dedication and commitment to La Salle Academy, to which he attributes much of his success. One of La Salle’s most celebrated and colorful alumni, Mr. Cecala is a business executive, producer, actor, author, supporter of the arts, philanthropist, United States Marine, and currently, the General Manager of the new Watson Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.
Joe has held several world-wide positions including Vice President of Hotel Operations for Milford Consultants, Executive Vice President of Lacoste / IZOD, Executive Vice President of Entertainment Properties (New England Patriots) and in Hong Kong as Executive Director of Murjani Industries (Gloria Vanderbilt) and Managing Director of Hirsh Enterprises (Fiorucci Milan / Jennifer O’Neill).
He currently serves as Executive Board President of PUSH Productions, Executive Board Member of The Theatre Project at Union County College, Executive Producer of Word of Mouth Productions and Executive Producer of the documentary Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation, currently on Netflix.
Over the past twenty years, he has been Executive Producer of more than a dozen Off-Off Broadway shows, several short films and is currently a major producer of the Off-Broadway musical hit, Cagney.
For the past forty years, he has been active in several community services and professional organizations including Board Member of the Seventh Avenue Manufacturers Association and Executive Director of the Hong Kong American Division Chamber of Commerce. His proposed legislation before the Joint Economics Committee of the Senate in 1979, relating to Ex-Patriot Tax Relief and Duty Relief for Domestic Fabric Manufacturers producing finished products abroad, was passed.
Joe is married to his “bride”, Kathy, of 44 years and has three children, Joseph Edward, Jr., Kristen Marie married to Jason Blackburn, and Patrick Thomas II married to Rebecca Anne, and they have blessed he and Kathy with five grandchildren – the sweetheart granddaughter Emilia and four grandsons Jesse, Vincent, Ripley and Nicholas.
Mr. Cecala has proudly and generously supported La Salle for decades, contributing to his alma mater to provide financially disadvantaged students with the same opportunities he received as a graduate of this Christian Brothers school. His love for La Salle is unparalleled; his magnificent, big-hearted spirit a blessing for the students. He truly exemplifies what it means to be a Brothers’ Boy.