One should not be fooled: serving on a co-op board is a commitment. It's a voluntary position in which those who are elected must cater to both the interests of their constituents and the property in which they themselves reside. Sleepwalk through the role, and not only are you likely to get voted out, but you're depriving a more proactive representative of the chance to improve quality of life and property value for everybody. It is truly a job for the dedicated.
And few are more dedicated than Barbara Gambino, who is the board president of a co-op on East 49th Street in Manhattan. Not only has Gambino served on the board for nearly 15 years, but she actually grew up in the building, and with the exception of about five years after college, has lived there for over 60 years.
The Cooperator spoke with Gambino about the ups and downs of committing to an association and its board for the long-haul.
The Cooperator: So how long have you been the co-op board president?