Joe Louis Dudley

By: Errol I. Mars
Company: Dudley Products, Inc. Position: President, CEO Industry: Cosmetics Country: United States

Joe Louis Dudley, Sr., President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dudley Products, Inc., is one of the world's largest manufacturers and distributors of haircare and beauty products and is a provider of basic and advanced training for cosmetologists.

Joe was born May 9, 1937, in the rural community of Aurora, in eastern North Carolina, the fifth of 11 children. In the first grade, he was labeled mentally retarded, and suffered from a speech impediment. However with his mothers help, he was able to overcome these early obstacles.

In 1957 when he invested $10.00 in a sales kit and began selling Fuller Products door-to-door while still a student at North Carolina A & T State University (Greensboro, NC). He continued to sell Fuller Products in Brooklyn, NY during summer vacations and soon adopted all of the principles and teaching espoused by Mr. S. B. Fuller, Founder and Owner of Fuller Products Company.

One of Mr. Fuller's goals, and one that Joe Dudley actively pursues today, is to help people to maximize their potential and achieve success.

Mr. Dudley began working full time for Fuller Products in Brooklyn, NY in 1962 after receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from North Carolina A & T State University in Greensboro.

In 1967 he moved to Greensboro, NC to open a Fuller Products Distributorship. This Distributorship quickly became the top producing Fuller Products Branch, beating even the Branches in the large metropolitan areas such as New York. His branch was so successful that Mr. Fuller made many trips to Greensboro to personally advise and mentor Joe.

When Fuller Products Company experienced problems providing enough products, Joe and his family began making their own products in their kitchen to meet their increasing customer needs. Mrs. Dudley and the children would make and package the products at night, and Joe and his branch sales force would sell them during the day. During this time the Dudleys not only learned how to grow a business but also learned how to acquire, evaluate, and make products.

By 1975, Dudley had launched Dudley Products Company with a sales force of more than 400, owned a Beauty School, a chain of beauty supply stores throughout the southeastern region of the United States and was an entrepreneurial success.

In 1976, Mr. S. B. Fuller, who was experiencing health problems, asked Dudley to move to Chicago and become President of the Fuller Products Company. From 1976 until 1984, Joe ran both Fuller Products Company and Dudley Products Company. He worked very closely with Mr. Fuller and learned how to run a large business as well as how to inspire and lead others to personal success.

In 1984, The Dudleys purchased the rights to Fuller Products Company and moved back to Greensboro, NC to grow Dudley Products Company.

Since 1984, the leadership and selling skills of Joe L. Dudley, Sr. have led Dudley Products Company to a significant level of sales. The company has been listed in the top 50 in Black Enterprise Magazine's Top 100 Black Owned Businesses. The company has a global presence and is available in Canada, Brazil, Zimbabwe, South Africa, The Bahamas and the Caribbean. The development of Dudley Cosmetology University in Kernersville, NC and the 8 strategically located schools in the Dudley Beauty School System (DBSS) help to round out its corporate structure.

Over the past 30 years, through dedication, hard work and persistence, Joe L. Dudley, Sr. has indeed become the role model his mother always knew he could be.

Joe L. Dudley, Sr. is much more than just a successful entrepreneur. He is known nationally and internationally as an inspirational speaker and humanitarian who spends much of his time identifying needs and giving back to the community and mankind.

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