Introducing Lydia Pitea, DC Capital Hub Director!
America’s Future is excited to introduce the new Capital Area Hub director, Lydia Pitea!
Lydia is the marketing and events manager at DonorsTrust and the program coordinator for its young givers project, Novus Society. Lydia joined DonorsTrust in 2016 as a participant in the Koch Associate Program and has since participated in the Atlas Network Academy and Leader Lab, as well as AF’s Writing Fellows Program. Lydia is a graduate of Montclair State University in New Jersey, where she received her B.S. in business administration with a concentration in marketing and a minor in political science. When not helping young professionals delve into charitable giving or hosting fun events for the Capital Area Hub, Lydia can be found volunteering at her church and bopping around the Capital Hub area for epic day trips. Lydia is an avid reader and traveler, an excellent petter of cats, and a believer in all things magical (and yes, that means unicorns).
Get to know Lydia below!
1. What do you enjoy about your career path so far, and why?
When I was first introduced to freedom-centered organizations, I had no idea the depth of the movement. I didn’t have the slightest inkling of how involved I would later become. Similarly, when I first started working in philanthropy, I didn’t really see it as a career path, merely a job. In the last couple years, I worked to hone in on goals that aligned with my talents and passions. It’s amazing what having that clarity can do for your creativity and focus! It’s been exciting to see how each little step has solidified the path I want to take.
Aside from that, I especially love the people my career has allowed me to work with. I wouldn’t be who I am without the individuals who helped, challenged, and stuck by me. Here’s to the many more I will meet throughout this journey!
2. How long have you been in the D.C. area, and what brought you there?
I’ve been here five years. I moved right after college from New Jersey. I accepted my first job at DonorsTrust through the Koch Associate program while on my flight back from Rome. I had two weeks to find an apartment and move – all while suffering from the flu. It was a crazy few weeks that I know many other DC folks can commiserate with. It just goes to show that when opportunity knocks you knock back some Dayquil and get going.
3. What has been your history with AF?
My first AF event was also one of my first galas I attended as part of my first job. That night I met some of my closest friends and had a blast. From then on I knew I wanted to attend many more AF events no matter what they were! After that, I mainly worked with AF as a sponsor with DonorsTrust and our young givers program, Novus Society. But if you continually show up, eventually someone notices. That’s when Cindy asked me to join the board for the then DC chapter. It’s so fulfilling to now be on the other side of the welcome table. I’m ready to uphold that reputation of AF and create similar opportunities for folks like me to meet new friends, grow skills, and network.
4. What helpful skills do you have that people could ask you for advice on?
Ask me how to plan events and trips! I love doing that both professionally and in my personal life. I’m a “planner” by nature so planning out multi-step events, trips, and event programs is something I love doing. Pro tip: always remember to back the timeline up double from what you think you need!
5. What are you most excited about in your Hub Director role?
I am most excited to create new events that DC folks haven’t attended before. Happy hours are great, and I can’t wait to resurrect them when we are able, but new creative events are what I, and my council, are really excited to bring to the table.
6. Book recommendations?
I think we could all use a break so here’s a fun one to start with: The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. He turns your classic science fantasy on its head and weaves in some real tear jerkers and belly laughs along the way.
On a serious note I’ve been revisiting some introspective works like The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis. In today’s subjectivist culture, it’s a good reminder of what is and isn’t and how we should approach discourse. Sine it’s almost summer, I really recommend giving poetry a try. Grab something from the romantic period or Shakespeare’s sonnets and bring it to the park, beach, or woods. We could all use something lovely and peaceful right now.
7. Coffee order?
I hate the stuff! But catch me getting Boba anytime! I prefer fruity teas like Passion Fruit Green tea with lychee jellies or a strawberry matcha latte.
8. Favorite places to travel?
Iceland was amazing. But the food was very disappointing. Oxford is a nerd’s dream. In the great U,S, of A, I honestly loved Salt Lake City so much and also really enjoy our East Coast beaches. But to be completely honest New York City has always held my heart.
9. What is on your “Top 5 Fun Things to do in D.C.” list?
This is so hard, but here we go;
1. Boozy Picnic on the Mall followed by paddle boating, food truck food, and popping into ANY Smithsonian.
2. Cherry Blossom Fest in DC: the parade, the petalpalooza, the kite festival. It’s all so fun and amazing. Plus the BLOSSOMS!!! Have you seen them? You really should. I personally recommend night blossom viewing.
3. Concerts at the Kennedy Center – you name it, they got it and they have super cheap tickets for young professionals!
4. Bar crawls in Shaw: you can find a tour company that runs one, or if you have local friends who know all the best dives, you can make your own. Either way, Shaw is a super fun late night spot.
5. Last but certainly not least: Old Town Alexandria! While not in DC, a quick metro, Uber, or water taxi ride or even a longer Potomac River Cruise, can get you there easily. It’s my home, and by far my favorite. There is rich history, amazing restaurants, a gorgeous waterfront, and so many other random fun things to do.
Learn more about the Capital Area hub here.