Joel Harris, a Mineola native, has always been the man behind the camera, bringing joy to others through his philanthropic work and as a photographer. Now, it is his turn to be in the spotlight.
Harris assumed the role of president of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce this month. “It’s just such an amazing opportunity I have here to do good for people I care about and to serve the people of Mineola,” he said. “I couldn’t be more grateful.”
The role of the chamber president is to be an emissary for the chamber and its board members.
Harris will replace Tony Lubrano, starting in September. Prior to this position, Harris worked in finance for over 40 years. He joined the chamber in 2012, previously serving as vice president. In October, he was named Businessman of the Year in Mineola by the chamber.
The Mineola Chamber of Commerce is the voice of the village’s business community. According to the official website, “we strive to cultivate and strengthen economic developments in the area for our merchants, professionals and business people to make Mineola a better place to work, live, learn and play.”
The chamber organizes events such as the Mineola Street Fair, the Summer Car Show, blood drives and scholarship programs for high school students, in addition to assisting local businesses with economic needs.
“We try to give our local businesses their maximum exposure,” said Harris. “We have a website where all our members have their own business space.”
Harris said he would like to keep most of the Chamber of Commerce the same. “The only changes I want to make is to make the Mineola Chamber more visible to residents … I want to see more people getting involved. We all have a common goal of keeping our village beautiful, vibrant and active,” Harris said.
Harris has worked as an event photographer, mainly shooting for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Ronald McDonald House, Cystic Fibrosis and the Charlie Rose Foundation. He has also served as a lieutenant governor for the Kiwanis New York District, an international service club that focuses on children.
The chamber meets on the third Tuesday of every month from September to June at Piccola Bussola restaurant.