More About the Author
Renaissance man might be the best way to describe Joe Chiappetta. He is an Author, Cartoonist, Painter, Photographer, Pastor, Publisher, Community Organizer, Researcher, Choir Singer, and Trainer.
As the author of 5 full length nonfiction books, 5 full length fiction books, as well as numerous magazines and articles, Chiappetta has won many awards. This includes an Illinois Arts Council Award for his work on the project: "Back Pain Avenger/Disability in Comics." The book, research, and speaking tour surrounding the Award focused on issues of disability in the history of comic books, as well as presenting a non-medicated memoir of rehabilitation. Joe is also a seasoned photographer, with his photos appearing in many of his publications and training courses.
For his family documentary work on the graphic novel "Silly Daddy," Joe was the recipient of the Xeric Award as well as numerous other award nominations over the years. Chiappetta is a husband and father of three who loves God and bicycle riding.
Since 1999 Joe has been leading community Bible discussion groups in the Chicago area. He's one of the founding members of the Chicago International Christian Church and leads both members and non-members in areas of applied Christianity, parenting, marriage, service to the poor and those with disabilities, and mental health issues.
Joe is the Director of MERCYWORLDWIDE's Chicago Branch, which is part of a global nonprofit charity. Chiappetta increased the scope of this organization from annual to monthly service projects helping people with disabilities whose families are no longer involved in their lives. Every month, he leads teams of volunteers into the group homes of Chicagoans with disabilities for MERCY Family Time: an evening of playing games, singing, and building family with those who are often forgotten by society.
Joe is also the founder of Chicago's Workforce Developer Network (WDN). It's the oldest collaborative of organizations working together to place more people with disabilities in jobs. In 2014, Joe successfully negotiated the restructuring of WDN to be a key program of MERCYWORLDWIDE. This increased awareness for Chicago's Network and promoted the employment of people with disabilities on a national scale. In this same year, employers hired 137 people with disabilities through WDN, which generated nearly $2 million in benefits to society.
Joe received a Bachelor of Arts in Charity Services from the International College of Christian Ministries in Los Angeles. He's also an alumni of Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts who graduated cum laude and received the Dean's Award. His interdisciplinary education and experiences have encouraged him to use creativity combined with integrity to live a meaningful life to the full.