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John Ferreira
John Ferreira
Meet this week's Star of Queens: John Ferreira, president of the Junction Boulevard Merchants Association.

COMMUNITY SERVICE: “I’m the president of the Merchants Association on Junction Boulevard, so I take care of basically anything that has to deal with merchants. If we need to get in contact with the police precinct, I’m in charge of that. If there’s a problem with local sanitation, I’m in charge of that also. I’m the person who’s more or less in charge of representing the merchants in all matters that might benefit us and the community around us.”

BACKGROUND: “I was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to Manhattan in 1957. I went to local schools, and then received my masters degree in business at St. John’s University. Eventually my father bought a house in Queens, and I’ve been living here now for over 55 years. I’ve been living in the Jackson Heights area for a long time, so I’m very attuned to the area and its makeup. One of the reasons I’m able to do this job is because I’m not married, because this job requires a lot of time and work, especially around particularly busy times such as these. But I do it because I’m a member of the community, I like the community, and I want it to do well.”

FAVORITE MEMORY: “It’s more of an achievement than a memory, but basically, the fact that Junction Boulevard is still a very vibrant area for merchant business is my favorite memory. Stores here generally do pretty well, but they have the same problems that all other commercial areas have. For example, we have no garage area for our customers, so 80% of them have to walk to our stores, and the fact that our community has managed to remain lively, vibrant, safe, is not an accomplishment on my part so much as one for the merchants. That makes me happy.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “I would imagine that getting more participation from the merchants is my biggest challenge. Today we have a lot of big stores that come in. These stores aren’t as invested in the community as the small merchant is.”

INSPIRATION: “My inspiration is definitely other people who have worked in the community. It’s inspiring how these people are so invested in the well-being and safety of the community. I’ve been going to community meetings for years now, and I always see the same people every time I go. I’m very impressed by that. The people who I see involved in the community and very, very committed to it.”





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