CHICAGO — Joseph P. Campolo, co-founder and retired vice chairman of Arbor Investments, died Oct. 24 at his home in Winnetka, Ill., after a battle with brain cancer. He was 54 years old.

Mr. Campolo co-founded Arbor Investments with Gregory J. Purcell in 1999. Headquartered in Chicago, Arbor Investments is a specialized private equity firm that focuses exclusively on acquiring premier companies in the food and beverage industry. The firm has acquired or invested in more than 32 food and beverage companies in North America, including Gold Standard Baking, Inc., Oven Fresh Baking Company, Inc., Mister Cookie Face, PBF Pita Bread Factory Ltd., The New French Bakery, Inc., and Keyes Packaging Group, Inc.

Prior to co-founding Arbor, he started his career at Andersen Consulting, then went into finance and commercial banking. A native of Pittsburgh, Mr. Campolo received a bachelor’s degree at Villanova University and a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business.

“We are all heartbroken,” said Mr. Purcell, chief executive officer of Arbor. “Joe and I were extraordinarily lucky to participate in this fantastic private equity industry together for more than two decades having worked together at American National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago in our 20s. We traveled the country together running down food deals and enjoyed a phenomenal run as partners, and more importantly, as friends. As I reflect back, Arbor has evolved so much from the early days of Joe, me, and a fax machine when we started in 1999. Joe’s competitiveness will forever be his legacy, woven into the fabric of Arbor. He left his imprint not only on those who had the privilege to work alongside him, but also on the entrepreneurs, leaders and associates of so many food companies.”

Mr. Campolo was an active board member of the Basser Center Advisory Board for BRCA at Penn Medicine and he served as a trustee for Villanova University and chair of the university’s Endowment Investment Committee. This past spring, Villanova University honored Mr. Campolo with a Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa for his generosity, dedication and loyalty to the university.

He is survived by his wife Angie and daughters Mia, Caroline and Claudia.

Visitation for family and friends will be Oct. 27 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Donnellan Family Funeral Services in Skokie, Ill. A funeral mass will be Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. at Saints Faith, Hope & Charity Catholic Church in Winnetka, Ill.