MARCH'S WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH SPOTLIGHT!
First Woman President and CEO of YMCA of Long Island
Anne grew up in Flushing, Queens, and is proud of her Greek descent. She was introduced to the YMCA as a way to fulfill the honor society’s requirement at Bayside Hight School. She happily completed her community service requirements at the Flushing YMCA as an Administrator to the Program Director. Although she was not providing direct serve at the time, she immediately was compelled by the mission, and taken with the magic of the Y and the impact it had on families, and its employees. In the early 80’s after college graduation, Anne returned to The Y after a very successful career on Madison Avenue. The Y quickly became an extension of herself. She officially began her Y career in 1985, as an Executive Assistant (who couldn’t type) and Special Events Director to one of NYC’s District VPs. As you can imagine, it was easy or commonplace for a woman to be considered for senior leadership roles. Women like Anne, never ever give up. She worked long, hard, smart and always believed in herself. She married her high school sweetheart, Anthony, and raised two beautiful children while she pursued her hopes and dreams.
As an integral part of the Y's leadership team for over 30 years, and throughout her tenure, Anne has demonstrated a unique ability to lead, inspire, and think innovatively. Her institutional knowledge, internal and community relationships, and leadership skills enable her to bring the YMCA of Long Island to new heights. She passionately supports the Y’s areas of focus – youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. As a result of her commitment to excellence, she established the Great South Bay YMCA facility in Bay Shore, NY in the 90’s as the Association’s childcare incubator – home to full day childcare, afterschool childcare and UPK. Among the YMCA's most recent accomplishments under Anne’s leadership, is a 30,000 square-foot Healthy Living Center, a standalone extension of the Huntington YMCA. The facility offers preventative health/wellness programs, group exercise, recreational sports and enrichment programs. She is also leading the vision for a state-of-the-art, $50 million health and wellness facility in Wyandanch.
In 2018, Anne was named one of Long Island's Power Women in Business by the Long Island Press, and recognized as Distinguished Leader by the Advancement for Commerce, Industry and Technology (ACIT). Anne was presented with the Long Island Press award at the 2017 Power Women in Business Awards & Networking Event and the ACIT award at the organization's Distinguished Business Leaders & Awards Luncheon. Anne’s exemplary leadership has been recognized by the Association of YMCA Directors for Outstanding Service and Leadership Achievement in 1998 and 2004. She was awarded the "Save a Child" Award from the Rotary Club Gift of Life in 1993 and Long Island Business News' "Top Women of 2007". In 2010, she was unanimously selected as the YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts "Ambassador of the Arts."
Anne currently serves on the Board of Directors for Bethpage Federal Credit Union and has served as chair of the New York State Alliance of Ys; Chair of the Y Employee Benefits Management committee; in addition to a number of other Y-USA Committees.
Anne lives happily with her husband Anthony, in Sea Cliff. Her daughter, Joy, and her husband, John Paradise, live in Northport; and her son, Nicholas, and his significant other, Annie, reside in NYC.
Anne believes every community deserves a Y. She expects the next five years will be filled with opportunities to grow and thrive and will work hard to drive innovation, program excellence, and operational strength for our Long Island communities.
Her advice for other business owners is to be courageous, authentic, bold and kind. It’s important to remain flexible and agile in today’s ever-changing landscape. Anne commits to working together to make Long Island a better place to live, work and play.
Watch Anne's interview for March History Month.