THE BLOG

Women in Business: Tracie Romandetti, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area

03/18/2015 06:01 am ET | Updated May 18, 2015

Tracie Romandetti was appointed to the Executive Director position of the Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area in September 2007.

Mrs. Romandetti is a Boys & Girls Club 14-year veteran beginning at the Variety Boys & Girls Club in Long Island City, Queens. During Mrs. Romandetti's tenure, Variety had an annual budget of $1.5 million.

The Bellport club's membership consists of over 700 youth with a budget of $1.5 million. One of the main goals of the Club and staff is to reach as many children as possible in the South Shore area and to create a strong relationship with the community. Under the leadership of Tracie, the Club opened a brand new 28,000 square foot Clubhouse in 2012. "My ongoing goal is to fund an endowment to ensure that the Club has continued financial stability in order to be around for the future youth of the Bellport Area." stated Tracie Romandetti.

Mrs. Romandetti grew up in Bay Shore. She attended Bay Shore High School and studied computer information at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York. She is presently residing in West Islip, NY with her husband and 5 year old son.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
Growing up on Long Island, I developed a very strong sense of community. I felt a responsibility to give back to the neighborhood in which I grew up and I had the desire to teach young people in our area. As my career roles changed over the years, I wanted to take the knowledge I acquired and lead in a local town. I also learned from the challenges I faced as a child, became stronger, and I now try to pass those skills on to the younger generation.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure as Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area?
One of the principal highlights was the 2012 opening of our new, state-of-the-art facility which helps us better serve the community. Thanks to our donors and supporters, we were able to completely fund the construction of the building without a mortgage or financing. This has allowed us to focus on the challenge of finding new revenue streams and diversifying programs. Our largest challenge in this community is poverty and violence. We face this by striving to give every youth in the area a positive place to go to after school and in the evenings.

Tell us about any new projects that you are working on.
Our annual fundraiser, the Beach Ball event, is taking place Saturday, June 20, 2015. We are excited that this year's event will be at the beautiful bay front home of Alexandra Lebenthal and Jay Diamond. It will feature an amazing private pyrotechnic display by Fireworks by Grucci. It's always been the event that kicks off the summer season on the Great South Bay!

What advice can you offer women who are seeking to start their own business?
Find something you love and research as much as possible. Networking and collaborating with others is key; don't try to reinvent the wheel.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I have a very supportive family and try to compartmentalize, putting away work when I get home.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
Equal pay for equal ability.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
Having someone to bounce ideas off of and collaborate with helped me to find new approaches to seemingly unsolvable problems. I also strongly believe that talking things out with a trusted friend or mentor helps me process my feelings and feel confident in my decisions.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
When I think of female leaders that I admire, I look to local women running nonprofits. I really look up to Theresa Regnante of the United Way of Long Island for her never-give-up attitude and her perseverance to get things done for the people her agency serves. She is always available to give feedback or just listen. I hope to model my career after Theresa by following her lead and never allow obstacles to get in the way of what I want to accomplish for this community.

What do you want to personally and professionally accomplish in the next year?
My goal is to create an endowment to enable the Club to continue to serve the community for generations to come. I plan to cultivate our Board of Directors to be stronger and more involved in being Goodwill Ambassadors for the Club. I also hope to get to the gym more.