COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Joann Ariola has been serving Queens for 18 years as a liaison between the government and the citizens of New York. She is the co-founder of the Lindenwood Alliance, which is an organization that partners with government agencies to prevent crime in Lindenwood. She is able to help by working with the elected officials, mayor’s office, local police, and the Community Board in an effort to keep the streets safe.
Ariola was also recently elected vice president of the Ronald Reagan Republican Club. She is a former Republican State Committeeperson for the 23rd Assembly District and has worked for Mayor Michael Bloomberg as an Assistant Commissioner in the Community Assistance Unit.
PERSONAL: Ariola was born in Ozone Park and raised in Howard Beach, and she currently lives in Howard Beach. She is a mother of three boys ages 21, 24, and 28 and grandmother to five-year-old Gabriel.
OCCUPATION: Ariola currently is the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the MediSys Health Network. She mainly covers Jamaica and Flushing Hospitals as the official liaison between the hospital and elected officials and government agencies.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “I do not really look at anything as a challenge, life bumps are adventures for me,” she said. Ariola believes a person’s trust needs to be earned and getting the word out there so that people know that there are groups that want to be of assistance to people is challenging. Utilizing venues such as local papers is a wonderful tool for accomplishing such a task.
FAVORITE MEMORY: According to Ariola, seeing the smile on a person’s face after helping him or her with an issue is her greatest memory. To her, even after years of service, helping people is the reward
INSPIRATION: Ariola’s biggest inspiration is her family, mostly her boys. She said she watches them grow everyday and, due to faith and conviction, they have become wonderful young men. She believes in teaching them through example. She has worked with her children on community-based projects such as graffiti removal. She wants to be a role model to her children, just like her parents are for her. – Randell Evans