by Kimberly Gaudin de Gonzalez
The first words that pop into Linda Giuliano’s mind when you mention the YMCA are: Community. Friendship. Ability to adapt. Persistence.
Giuliano, who has been a member of the Family YMCA at Tarrytown since 1993 and a board member for more than 22 years, will be honored at the Y’s Masquerade Ball on September 22, 2017 (which also happens to be her 30th anniversary with longtime romantic partner Ed Rutland.) The two have met most of their dearest local friends in spin, TRX, and yoga classes at the Y and during board meetings and Y fundraising events.
As much as Giuliano compliments the Y for making changes over the years to adapt to new fitness trends, community daycare needs and offer innovative education and athletic opportunities to children, she herself is credited with being one of the driving forces behind those changes. Giuliano, the head of responsible investments at the global investment-management and research firm AllianceBernstein, contributed to the Y’s evolution over the past two decades.
While on the board, she served as a two-term chair, was on the finance committee and served as treasurer and board secretary.
“She brought an unparalleled level of financial expertise to the board which helped with our annual campaigns over the years and our most recent renovations,” said Gerry Riera, chief executive at the Tarrytown Y.
Barbara Turk, Vice President of Marketing and Community Development at the Y, said Giuliano’s unique world view and personal experiences at the Y made her a significant asset in planning and implementing change.
“She understands the Y because it is such a big part of her life—her friends, her fitness regime, her philanthropy, her involvement with the staff—even the Y’s residents,” Turk said. “Linda and Ed are both citizens of the Y in a way. And that has given her amazing insight into the organization’s needs and the changing needs of the community it serves. She helped push us to evolve and stay relevant in this community which itself has changed so greatly in the past 25 years.”
Giuliano grew up attending summer day camps at the Y in Morristown, New Jersey. As a college student at the University of Michigan, she arrived in Ann Arbor, Michigan for the first time and found she couldn’t get into her living quarters, but was welcomed for the night by the Ann Arbor YMCA.
It was on a bike ride with a yoga teacher at the Tarrytown Y, who became a friend, that she was first asked to join the board. “I was so impressed with the Y—it‘s been around for more than 100 years and continues to persist and transform, and offers opportunities for members of the community who might not have access otherwise,” Giuliano said. “Even as an avid fan of exercise myself, I’ve never looked at other gyms to join—we like the community, the friends, the workers and the residents—we like the sense of belonging we have here.” She takes part in bike riding excursions with folks she met at the Y. Both Linda and Ed light up when they talk about their gourmet group—filled with people they met through the Tarrytown Y. The group hosts dinners modeled after famous meals such as the last feast on the Titanic, or Obama’s state dinner, or one you might find on holiday in Brazil. “We’ve met really great people here, many of whom are our dear friends.”
When she’s not working, cooking, spinning, or doing yoga, Giuliano enjoys traveling—she’s been to 56 countries, and loves to scuba dive. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Cornell University, she also serves on the advisory council of the Johnson School of Management at Cornell and is a Trustee of Sherman College of Chiropractic.
“She’s a doer, “said Turk. “Linda is someone wholly committed to making life better for people, to supporting them in endeavors and to living her own life in a way that embraces health, friendships, and intellectual pursuits. We were lucky to have her help all these years.”