The head of the Long Island Rail Road has joined the board of directors of the region's largest business group.

Patrick Nowakowski, the railroad's president, will serve on the 65-member board of the Long Island Association. He succeeds Helena Williams, who was fired by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in April after she led the LIRR for seven years.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Williams' concerns over the Metro-North railroad gaining access to Manhattan's Pennsylvania Station and the LIRR potentially losing track space there reportedly angered her superiors. She remains a paid consultant for the LIRR.

LIA board members are not paid for their service.