I’m Joe Irrera. I am a dedicated family man and a proven leader in both the military and private sector. Please allow me to tell you a little bit more about my life and campaign to serve YOU on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.


New Hanover County has been good to my family and me. I met my wife Sheila, a native of Wilmington, while we both attended UNCW. My wife is a registered nurse working in our local schools. We are blessed to have four children: Kristin, Joseph (wife, Brittney), Nicholas (wife, Allison), and Andrew as well as three incredibly beautiful grandchildren: Noah, Gabriella, and Isaac. I’m proud that our now-adult children have all chosen to live and work in New Hanover County (although, I will note that Andrew is presently stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville). 


After earning my bachelor’s degree at UNCW, I was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. I later obtained a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.  Following training I was initially stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC where I had spent many years growing up. I served as an Artillery Officer for 10 years and then as an Intelligence Officer for the next 20 years. I retired as a Marine Colonel in 2014 after 30 years of military service. My military service has taken me around the globe, including two tours of duty in Iraq and a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

In addition to my military background, I have extensive experience in the private sector. For over 20 years, I provided expertise in sales, operations, training, marketing, and management to companies such as PPD, Chiltern, and Novartis. I have also provided training, operations, and management to individuals and companies in the defense industry. Additionally, I have taught several master’s degree program courses.


Volunteering in our community is vital. I am active in civic and veteran organizations such as The Azalea Festival, The Marine Corps League, American Legion, VFW, Military Officers Association of America, and other New Hanover County community organizations. I presently serve as Chairman of a local nonprofit, Veterans Memorial Reef.


As YOUR County Commissioner, I will work to make New Hanover County the best it can be for my family and for yours. I believe that my education, service, and experience in the military and private sector make me uniquely qualified to help lead our beloved county through the coming years. Over the next few months, I look forward to telling you more about what we can accomplish together. To learn more about my campaign, please contact me.

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