AHEPA District 5 new Governor, Bill Harrison, reveals himself and talks about AHEPAN goals
By Michail Vafeiadis
Introduced to the world of success in a young age, Bill Harrison, the newly-elected AHEPA District 5 Governor is ready to assume his new challenge and instill his enthusiasm for the role into his District- Lodge.
Working along his father in the family-owned liquor store, Mr. Harrison nurtured the Greek stamina, professional ethos and determination that drove generations of Hellenes to succeed in their endeavors in the United States.
It appears that time is ripe now for the Bayonne, NJ native to take on this position and apply these skills to leading AHEPA District 5 amid tough economic times.
Working as broker at CENTURY 21 Costanza & Providence Real Estate Agency, Inc. after selling his realty office, Mr. Harrison has a long-tradition of involvement in Hellenic affairs, going back in 1968 when he first joined the Sons of Pericles. His journey with AHEPA gradually progressed translating into more functions and enhanced responsibilities. “I held every position in District clubs before becoming a District Governor,” Mr. Harrison said in an interview with HNA.
In 1978, he was appointed as a Growth and Expansion Chairman at the Junior Order of AHEPA, and the year after he became an AHEPA member.
His commitment and tireless work to advance Hellenism, cultural and educational activities as well philanthropy were rewarded in 2002 when he was named Secretary of the Year in the Fifth District. In 2005 and for two years he served as President of his Chapter.
Mr. Harrison’s dedication to philanthropy was witnessed again in 2007 when he was part of the AHEPA Emergency Greek Fire Relief Efforts that raised and sent money, along with Non-Perishable Care Packages and other goods, to Greece during the catastrophic 2007 wildfires.
By employing his business acumen, Mr. Harrison pledges to continue District’s 5 successful AHEPAN work while setting personal goals. “I’ll work really hard to raise our District’s membership from 1200 to 2000 by June 2013 so people join this wonderful organization and brotherhood,” he said.
The District 5 Governor also aims to intensify the District’s outreach to community leaders and lawmakers to promote civic as well Hellenic and Cypriot relations. In this regard, he already met with New Jersey Governor Christie at the Town Hall discussing AHEPA’s efforts to start a Charter School in Bergen County.
His immediate plans also include bringing into AHEPA more Congress members like the District’s last year addition of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). Mr. Harrison highlighted that in the past renowned Philhellenes and AHEPA members included American public servants such as Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Gerald Ford.
“We also want to strengthen our relations with churches throughout the nation and other Districts to better serve the needs of Hellenism,” Mr. Harrison added.
Mr. Harrison reiterated his commitment and zeal to continuing District 5 activities as the recently launched Christmas trip of the St. Basil’s Academy to a Broadway play where a group of 20 children had the opportunity to watch last year ‘Spiderman.’ Another is the Annual Fall Gala for the Fifth District AHEPA Cancer Research Foundation, a volunteer joint effort with the daughters of Penelope who organize a yearly gala in the first week of November to raise and provide funds for cancer research to outstanding
Physicians and institutions. To learn more about AHEPA’s District 5 work, you can contact Mr. Harrison at: (201) 966-3766, or email at: [email protected]