Monday Morning Meet Your Leaders – Heather Barberi

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Heather Barberi
Executive Director
Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation

1. What is one of the most important qualities of a great leader?

This is tough, because there are so many qualities that make a great leader.  I love this quote by Reagan, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”  Great leadership is about listening…really listening.  It’s about being able to read people and inspiring others to find their strengths and to dream big.  It’s about always being honest and accountable.  It’s about showing up…when things are going great and when things are tough.  It’s about being passionate and inspiring passion in others.  It’s so many things!  (As you can see from my answer, decisiveness isn’t my strong suit since we were asked to pick one quality and I have about ten!)

2. How does your organization take our community to the next level?

At the core, the Grunin Foundation’s goal is to take our community to the next level.  Through our grantmaking, it’s about funding projects that drive economic excellence.  It’s about making our a community a place where people desire to live, work and play.  Through our capacity programming, it’s about giving our incredible nonprofit community the tools they need to grow and make a bigger impact.

This question is a great one, because it’s what we ask ourselves before we fund anything or create programming – How are we taking the Central Jersey Shore to the next level?

3. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

My favorite thing to do in my spare time is to spend it doing anything and everything with the people I love and adore on this planet.  I also love the beach, being active and practicing yoga, traveling, and cooking.  Cooking and baking are my zen.  Nothing better than listening to music, sipping on a glass of wine and cooking up a storm on a Sunday afternoon.

4. What is your favorite food/recipe and why?

Anyone that knows me, knows I love food!  I’m already thinking about dinner when I wake up in the morning.  My favorite food category is Italian.  Give me all the pizza, pasta, and bread!  When it comes to cooking…I love making recipes from my childhood.  My grandmother was and my mom is an incredible cook, and I make a lot of their recipes.  Pure nostalgia!

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