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Joe Wilson wins Irish American Business Champion Award

Joe Wilson, Senior Vice President and Account Executive Team Leader was presented with the Irish American business Champions Award at the Irish Echo Index 30 luncheon last week which took place at the Empire Hotel, just across the street from the Lincoln Center.

Wilson, a native of Rockaway Beach in Queens, began his business career as a sales representative with the Atlantic Richfield Oil Company in Philadelphia.

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"What it taught me? reality and perseverance. You were not in the classroom anymore and life and personalities were imposing themselves on your workplace environment. I was responsible for increasing sales at twenty franchise service stations in the greater Philadelphia area.

If a service station operator was not achieving goals, I had to actively work with him to get to target levels orreplacement him with an alternative Operator who you individually recruited," says the 61-year-old now resident of Long Beach in Nassau County.

Married to Mary and with six children and two grandchildren, Wilson includes in his biographical details three things that people might know about him. * He performed for 14 straight years in a local school district plays to help raise funds to supplement the annual school budget. *

He paraglided in the Swiss Alps to celebrate his 50th birthday and has jumped off the side of mountains more than a mile up too many times. * He participated in one of New York City's FBI Swat Team target practice exercise shoots.

The best advice you could give someone starting out? Wilson says. "Start networking through family, friends, associates early on in your college experience. Stay abreast of global news, developments and trends. Read, read, read daily information on geo-political developments. Try to be aware of what opportunities might come of personal areas of interest."

Born the third of six children - he celebrates his birthday today, June 15 - Joe Wilson is named Joseph after his father, a Sergeant Detective in the NYPD, but he was given the nickname, Mickey, by his sisters.

Wilson was educated at St. Camillus, Bishop Loughlin High School and LaSalle University where he earned a major in Business Management.

Wilson's insurance career started with Chubb and moved into to his true calling, insurance brokerage. He has occupied that sector for the past 35 years, the last five with Chicago-based AON. Wilson is actively involved in numerous local charities through both AON sponsored activities and his ownership of Shines Tavern, one of the oldest Irish pubs on Long Island.