Board President, 3 East 69th Street
My mother was a housewife and my father ran the office of the French Line (shipping). I was a schoolteacher in my twenties for eight years. My first job was in Red Hook, Brooklyn, my second in Miami, Florida, on Bay Harbor Island for two years, and then I worked on 21st Street between First and Second Avenues in a junior high school. I was a math and science teacher. I gave that up because I was very interested in art, both new and contemporary. I had a very strong interest in business so I started an art gallery when I was about 30.
For 17 or 18 years we had an on-site manager, then he went on to a bigger responsibility at Time Warner; then we had to hire an outside manager. In order to be self-managed, the board has to be very strong. There’s a certain amount of hands-on whether you’re self-managed or not.
My skills on the board come from my many years of involvement in real estate. Years ago, when my husband closed the gallery on 57th Street, I had the opportunity to be a real estate sales person. I thought it was an interesting challenge. I’ve renovated apartments on my own, I’ve got a good, strong financial background, so I thought, “Why not try it?” My negotiating skills are very strong. I worked for M.J. Raynes for several years, more as a part-time situation, and then I started my own company. My last sale was a mansion in South Hampton two years ago.
PEACE AND UNDERSTANDING
Keeping a kind of peaceful relationship between the board and the shareholders is very important. You should try to work well with people, and don’t be antagonistic. Keep it a happy family.
AGE 73, oldest of five children.
Art dealer, real estate broker, and chairwoman of a foundation that “builds bridges between the United States and Cuba through art projects.” This year, it hosted the 11th annual Latin American Film Festival.
Married with two sons, one is a Hollywood producer; the other a photographer. Her husband is an art dealer.
1982-1984, treasurer; 1984-1993 president; 2004, returned to the board; 2008-present, president. Has lived in the building for 35 years.
WHEN I EAT OUT
Generally eats at home (“I have a wonderful cook”).
Biographies, just finished one on Picasso.
3 East 69th Street
UNITS Originally 31, currently 28
ELEVATORS 2 (including 1 service)
STAFF Doorman; shares super and handyman with building next door.
BOARD MEMBERS 7
Evaluating the basement with an eye to adding a gym.
WENT CO-OP 1981
ACCOUNTANT Greenberg & Brennan
ATTORNEY Steve Wagner
– Edited from an interview with Tom Soter