LEONIA, N.J. -- Joyce Luhrs of Leonia graduated recently from the Class of 2016 Bergen LEADS, Bergen County’s first and only civic leadership program sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County in Hackensack.
Bergen LEADS, a 10-month unique experiential learning and leadership program, is designed to prepare aspiring and acknowledged leaders to tackle the unique challenges and embrace the opportunities in Bergen County. A graduation ceremony was held at Bergen Community College in Paramus after the Bergen LEADS class presented, 'Take 2, Bergen: Bergen County Film Through the Years', in a public forum at the Ciccone Theatre.
The presentation examined Bergen County's lengthy and extensive past, present and future in the film industry, provided current key film locations and offered recommendations to increase the number of movies made in the area. Film and television notables Roger Paradiso and Gary Donatelli moderated the discussion.
Luhrs worked with other seminar participants to research Bergen County's lengthy and rich history in the film industry. "In Fort Lee, New Jersey alone, 17 studios were headquartered in the borough producing one movie after the other with an A list of leading actors and actresses that featured Pearl White, Fattie Arbuckle, Mary Pickford, members of the Barrymore family and many others,'' Luhrs said. "Contemporary television shows and movies have been filmed in various locations in Fort Lee such as Law & Order SVU and The Thing About My Folks with Peter Falk and Paul Reiser,"
Luhrs encouraged people to embrace Bergen County's history and visit Fort Lee, the site of the first motion picture studios in the United States. "The Fort Lee Film Commission provides tours of various historic motion picture sites in the borough and other programs that focus on the film industry,'' she said. "The Fort Lee Museum frequently presents exhibitions that spotlight the rich culture and the prominence of film and television in this area."
"Former Bergen County Executive William “Pat” Schuber served as the Bergen LEADS Seminar Director. Participants were immersed in stimulating courses for 10 months that introduced topical issues of local importance and allowed them to explore their leadership styles, enhance their leadership capacity and become meaningfully engaged in helping to solve strategic issues facing Bergen County.
Luhrs has served on the boards of directors of several organizations, including the League of Women Voters of Northern Valley (LWVNV), Leonia Arts and the Hispanic Business Council Scholarship Foundation of NJ, Inc.
Her company, Luhrs & Associates, is a results oriented marketing, public relations, social media and management services firm that works with businesses, celebrities, artists, nonprofit organizations and schools.