Dr. Cindrich has had a long distinguished and rewarding career working at the local, state and national levels of government since growing up in the coal mines of Western Pennsylvania. Joe’s parents emigrated from Croatia in the early 1900’s without any formal education. Joe was driven to pursue his education and was the first one in his family of seven children to go to college. After graduating from high school in 1953, he received numerous honors and scholarship offers as an All-State and All-American football player. Joe accepted a football scholarship to play for the University of Pittsburgh. In 1955, he joined the Marine Corps where he played both offensive and defense for the Parris Island Marines football team where he experienced a serious knee injury. He also served in Japan and Okinawa with the 3rd Marine Division. After his discharge from the Marine Corps in 1958, Joe accepted a scholarship to play football for the Indiana University Hoosiers. Joe again sustained another serious knee injury that eventually limited his play at the next level. Joe received his BS and MS degrees from Indiana University and earned a Ph. D. from the University of Maryland in the fields of public health & safety and transportation. He served as a high school teacher and football coach for three years in Mansfield, Ohio and served as a professor at several major universities, namely, Western Illinois University, the University of Maryland, and San Diego State University where he helped develop the Masters of Public Health Program. He also served as the Director for Ground Safety and Health at Andrews Air Force Base.
In 1976, Joe was appointed to an executive position with United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. where he served until 1985 before joining the Social Security Administration as the Associate Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Inter-Government Affairs. In 1987, Joe was appointed to a higher position as the Regional Administrator for the US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for Region IX in San Francisco. Joe’s duties were to oversee highway transportation safety programs for the states of California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and the Trust Territories of Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands until he retired in 1998.
Since 1994, he has served on the Board of Directors for the Croatian Scholarship Fund (CSF) which has helped raise funds for over 400 Croatian students from Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina who have earned a college degree at a university in Croatia. Joe is a first generation Croatian and it has always been his desire to help other students to pursue their dream for an education. The White House recognized the outstanding accomplishments of the CSF program and invited Joe to meet with President Bill Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore as well as members of the US Congress and has been honored by other national Croatian organizations. In 1994, Joe also provided leadership as one of the founders and later became the president of the National Federation of Croatian Americans (NFCA) in Washington, D.C., a national umbrella organization for other Croatian organizations across the United States and assisting the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia- Herzegovina.
Dr. Cindrich has had extensive experience developing strong relationships with numerous public and private sector agencies. His testimony before state legislators and the US Congress resulted in the passage of stronger laws designed to protect the general public. As a frequent and nationally known speaker and writer on public health and safety issues, Joe received numerous honors and accolades for his personal leadership and professional achievements which include helping to develop the Masters of Public Health (MPH) graduate program at San Diego State University. Also, in 1996, Joe was honored when he received the Indiana University School of Public Health, “Dean John Endwright Distinguished Alumni Award” for his many professional and academic achievements. From 2003 to 2007, Joe served as the Chairman of Board of Trustees for the Palo Alto Elks Lodge where he led the way for the Lodge to overcome operating in the “red” for many years and to begin operating in the “black” by overseeing the sale of a portion of the property for $29 million. This action propelled the Lodge to build a new 42,000 square foot facility for $20 million debt free and retain $9 million in reserve with complete family health and fitness facilities which has enabled the Palo Alto Elks Lodge toward becoming the “Flagship of Elkdom”. Joe lives in Menlo Park, California. Joe continues to be active in Croatian education and political and activities at the national and state and local level in the United States.
Joe lives in Menlo Park in the North California.