Former Tupperware chief Joe Hara, who led Tupperware’s North American and international divisions during the company’s golden years in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and was the business face of the company for nearly three decades, died on Christmas Eve 2017. He was 91.
According to current CEO Rick Goings, Hara was “the heart of Tupperware” for many years. “When he spoke with you, he would gently touch your arm and look into your eyes. His approach to people and the value of relationships is at the core of Tupperware’s success today,” Goings said in a statement.
Under Hara, the Orlando-based Tupperware grew from an American plastic-ware company into an international sales icon. Hara presided over Tupperware’s annual Orlando gatherings of saleswomen called Jubilees, handing out advice and stoking enthusiasm for the home goods brand that flourished in nuclear-family America.
Hara joined Tupperware in 1954 with his cousin Jim, who ran a distributorship in Chicago. He moved to the corporate office in Orlando in 1963 as a vice president of sales. In 1966, he was promoted to president of Tupperware North America, and then president of Tupperware Company International in 1971.
He retired in 1985 after 33 years as a top executive at Tupperware, and spent the next three decades serving on boards for several groups, including the Jewish Federation of Orlando, The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center, Habitat for Humanity and the Brevard Music Festival.