Director of Membership
Harford County Chamber of Commerce
Heather Irizarry grew up in an entrepreneurial family with her grandparents owning Captain Dick’s Crabs Galore in Arbutus. Between the ages of 14 to 24, she worked at the seafood carryout establishment in various roles, which sparked her love of business.
“I truly learned the value of a dollar and hard work,” she said. “It is not always glamorous — owning a business. It is long hours, but it is rewarding at the end of the day.”
Earning a master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business administration from York College of Pennsylvania, Irizarry worked at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida for more than three years in different positions, including as project manager for the Office of the Chief Business Officer.
Since joining the Harford County Chamber of Commerce in November 2016, she has always served in a membership capacity, including in her current role as director of membership.
“We are the voice of business in the county, and our voice as one is 10 times more powerful than a single business owner or a single business professional,” Irizarry said.
She enjoys getting to meet new people every week.
“I really encounter some fascinating individuals,” she said. “I have such a love of entrepreneurs. I have so much respect for these individuals that I meet that are starting their own business and who are going through trials and tribulations and then to see them get on their feet and open (their new business’s doors) and knowing we are here to continue to support them is a very rewarding experience.”
A Harford Leadership Academy Class of 2019 graduate, Irizarry is also a board member for the Harford Community Action Agency.
“It is important to give back,” she said. “Being a part of the chamber, we know of so many great organizations, but until you are really in them and you experience the work for yourself and you put yourself in the shoes of those who work in those organizations and then the individuals who benefit from them, it is a completely different point of view, and I think it makes you appreciate it even more.”