Joe Blanchard, president and CEO of Caterpillar dealer Blanchard Machinery, passed away on July 14 at the age of 60.
Joe spent his childhood working at his grandfather’s machinery company, the Joseph L. Rozier Machinery Co., a LeTourneau dealer. It was there he discovered his passion for the heavy equipment industry.
Joe’s grandfather Joseph Rozier remained active in the company until his passing in the 1970s, when Joe’s father, G. Robert Blanchard, took the helm. Seeing an opportunity to sell Caterpillar products in South Carolina, Robert established Blanchard Machinery Company in 1982.
In 1996, following the retirement of Robert, Joe was appointed president of the company. The dealership has since grown to more than 700 employees across 12 branches statewide. Today, Blanchard Machinery has six divisions and numerous Cat and non-Cat product lines.
Joe and his wife Melissa gave back generously to the community through their philanthropy and service on numerous boards and committees. Joe was a board member for Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, the Columbia Museum of Art, and the South Carolina Mining Council.
Throughout his career, Joe received numerous awards and recognitions, including:
- 2014 Medallion Award from Columbia College
- 2015 induction into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame
- 2019 South Carolina Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of the Year
- 2021 Honorary Life Member of the University of South Carolina
- And most recently, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster bestowed upon him the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in the state.