STAR OF BROOKLYN: Andrew Gounardes

Community Involvement: Andrew Gounardes has been involved in the community from a young age. Most recently, he has had an active role in the Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights communities with his work on Community Board 10.

Gounardes also worked for the Citizens Committee for New York City, a non-profit organization that has given grants to a number of worthy community groups, such as the 72nd Street Block Association, P.S. 185 for its on-campus community garden, P.S. 102 to improve its street tree beds, and the Bay Ridge Food Co-Op, which prepared meals for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Career: One of Gounardes’ greatest achievements in his career was being part of an investigation on the Lockerbie Bomber, the individual responsible for a terrorist attack that killed 53 New Yorkers 30 years ago, when he worked on Capitol Hill. “Investigating that was sobering but proud,” said Gounardes.

Personal Life: One of the most enjoyable aspects of Gounardes’ recent run for a State Senate seat was meeting so many people in the community.

“No matter how involved in the community you are you can’t meet everyone, but on the campaign I would meet hundreds of people a day,” said Gounardes. “I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.”

Biggest Challenge: The greatest challenge of Gounardes’ career in any position would be getting many different people on the same page, to do the most for their community. “It’s a challenge, but in a good way,” said Gounardes.

Motivation: Gounardes’ enthusiasm for all that he does comes from a love of community that has been fostered in him all his life.

“I always grew up with a sense of community,” said Gounardes. “Everyone should give back whatever they can. We have an obligation to each other.”

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