Combining a passion for fresh food with the skills he developed in the financial sector, Joe Cardenas is innovating aquaculture in Florida.
Cardenas is both founder and CEO of AQUACO, a privately funded startup that has established a commercial aquaculture facility to grow out Florida Pompano for the retail market.
This goal fulfills not only Cardenas’ entrepreneurial dream and culinary passion, it allows the former banker to lay the foundation for other such projects in the State. Through AQUACO, Cardenas will expand the aquaculture industry in Florida and tap into a sustainable business model that will produce dozens of jobs and draw more investment into the state.
A committed leader with an interest in both business and education, Cardenas is a board member of several organizations including Discover The Palm Beaches, the Florida Atlantic University College of Education and the bi-partisan Council of Community Leaders, which seeks to shape public policy. He has also served on the Economic Council of Palm Beach County and is a graduate of Leadership Florida.
Additionally, he is a board member of the Autism Project of Palm Beach County, which operates two charter schools, and served as board chair of the FAU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities.
Prior to launching AQUACO Farms in 2016, Cardenas was Senior VP and Senior Banking Sales Officer in Palm Beach County for BB&T. Before that, he held positions including Area Executive for First Citizens Bank and Regional President for BankUnited, overseeing Broward and Palm Beach counties, as well as the Treasure Coast.
Cardenas is a graduate of Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He currently resides in Palm Beach County with his wife Katherine of 16 years and their two children Jack and Sara.