“John’s always smiling,” O’Rourke continued. “You ask him for something and he’ll do it in a heartbeat. John’s one of the best guys I know. He’s always willing to help a fellow Hibernian, that’s for sure.”
O’Connell joined the Heralds in 1998 as the Valley Stream editor, after serving as editor of the Gold Coast Gazette in Glen Cove for five years. He was promoted to executive editor, in charge of all 12 editions of the Herald, in 2003. He has since led the chain of weekly newspapers to dozens of national, state and local press association honors.
For nearly a decade, O’Connell has also been heavily involved in the Press Club of Long Island, a chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, a journalism networking, advocacy and education organization. O’Connell served as PCLI president, treasurer and vice president-print, who has helped organize regional conferences, networking events, job fairs and panel discussions.
O’Connell is also an avid, lifelong photographer and world traveler whose images have won national awards. His work can be found on his personal website,