Joel Benoliel was born in Seattle and earned both his BA and law degree from the University of Washington. After working as a partner at the Seattle firm MacDonald, Hoague, and Bayless, he later became vice president and general counsel at the privately held Jack A. Benaroya Co. Joel worked in real estate development with Trammell Crow Co. and Spieker Partners, then joined Costco Wholesale Corp., where he led the legal and real estate departments for 22 years. In 2000, Joel co-founded the Sephardic Traditions Foundation with his cousin, Hazzan Isaac Azose. Since then, the foundation has published many prayer books to maintain the liturgical traditions of Sephardic Jews from Turkey and Rhodes. Joel has been a trustee of Seattle Children’s Hospital, is vice chair of the advancement committee for the UW School of Law, and in January 2016 was appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee to serve on the University of Washington Board of Regents, and now serves as Vice Chair and Treasurer. He is the first Sephardic member of the Board of Regents. Joel also is a member of the UW Sephardic Studies Founders Circle. He received Portuguese citizenship in 2018 under the new 2015 citizenship allowances in Portugal. Joel is married to Maureen (Alhadeff), and they have one son.