With a career that spans over thirty years, Mrs. Joann Ariola-Shanks has held an array of titles, demonstrating her dedication to public service, community outreach, healthcare and fostering positive governmental relations. In September of 2017, Joann was elected Chairwoman of the Queens County Republican Party in New York State.
Her professional career began as a Court Stenographer in the Queens County Court System. Joann then went on to work for the New York City Council, serving as Chief of Staff and Press Secretary to Council Members in both Queens and Brooklyn. During her tenure with the New York City Council, Joann grew in her understanding of the value and necessity of community involvement. She often worked beyond her regular hours, developing strong ties with elected officials and city agencies; and working tirelessly on behalf of the communities she served. Joann also worked for two Republican Mayors, adding significant intergovernmental and political experience to her resume.
In 2006, Joann accepted the position of Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, with the MediSys Health Network. As Director, she acts in the critical position of liaison, facilitating relationships between Jamaica and Flushing Hospital Medical Centers, their community Boards, elected officials, religious institutions and local community groups. In her current position, Joann has worked to secure funding for many note-worthy projects throughout the Health Network. Her responsibilities also include the coordination of borough wide health fairs and informational symposiums for elected officials and community groups.
In addition to her professional work, Joann is currently the New York Republican State Committeewoman for the 23rd Assembly District, President of the Howard Beach Lindenwood Civic Association, a member of the 106th Precinct Community Council, as well as being a member of Community Board 10. Also noteworthy, Joann is the first American of Italian decent to be honored by the Columbus Foundation and the first to be honored a second time by the Columbus Foundation. She has also been recognized by the New York State Senate as a ‘Woman of Distinction’ and the Queens Courier as a ‘Woman of Worth’.
Joann is highly active in many community organizations and formerly held posts as, ex-officio Chair of the Ronald Reagan Republican Club, former President of the OHBCR Regular Republican Club; and, threw her hat in the ring for public office at the New York State Assembly and New York City Council levels.
Raised as the eldest of three children born to Paul and Theresa Ariola, her community involvement was nurtured while growing by the example her parents set in their commitment to helping others, especially the less fortunate. Both her mom and dad are well known for the magnitude of their good deeds in the community and better known for their desire to remain silent about their extraordinary humanitarian efforts.
Together with her husband John, Joann has been able to masterfully balance a busy schedule making sure that her family has never been without her attention and guidance regardless of professional obligation. And, with her high level of commitment to community and local government, Joann has always maintained that her proudest title is that of being a mother—that is until she was given what she terms, the greatest gift life has to offer—becoming grandmother to her beautiful grandsons, Gabriel, Antonio and Angelo.