Two new members — Mary Fran Gleason and Peg DiOrio — have been appointed to complete the 15-member Board of Directors of the Shelter Island Historical Society.
Ms. Gleason might be best known to Islanders as a trustee of the Shelter Island Country Club (SICC), chair of its 120th anniversary committee, and the Reporter’s Goat Hill columnist.
She originally came to the Historical Society to research the history of the SICC. “Now I’m really hooked,” she said.
But you might say she was born into the role with the Historical Society. The woman who was for many years the guiding light to those seeking information about Shelter Island’s past is Phyllis Wallace, Ms. Gleason’s aunt.
A former journalist, earning a master’s degree from Columbia College Chicago and working for the Shelter Island Reporter, Syracuse Newspapers — where she became the first female sports editor — and the Albany Times Union, she brings strong communications skills to the table at the Historical Society.
“The work the Historical Society does is so important to the Island community, preserving our roots, giving us the context from the past to understand the present, every time I visit the archives I get a ‘wow’ moment,” she said.
Contrasting with Ms. Gleason’s communications skills, Ms. DiOrio brings business and financial abilities to her role on the board.
She is the head of Quantitative Equity Portfolio Management at Voya Investment Management, where she and her team manage about $25 billion in assets.
Before joining Voya, she was at Alliance Bernstein, formerly Sanford C. Bernstein, for 19 years as a quantitative analyst, focusing on equity research and investment planning and asset allocation for high net worth individuals, pension funds, and foundations.
She has a bachelor of science degree from SUNY Stony Brook in applied math and statistics and a master’s degree in applied math, statistics and operations research from New York University.
In addition to her business experience, she’s taught high school math on Long Island before earning her graduate school degree.
Added to her busy schedule, Ms. DiOrio has been involved in mentoring and educational organizations, especially financial education. She has volunteered with the East Harlem Tutorial Program, the Girl Scouts of Greater New York and Girls Inc. She’s on the External Advisory Board of the applied math/engineering department at Stony Brook, a board member and former president of the Society of Quantitative Analysts, and co-chair of the Quantitative Investing Group of CFA New York.
Ms. DiOrio has been active with the Historical Society for about two years. Friends at the Shelter Island Yacht Club — Belle and Gerry Lareau — knew of her financial background and asked if she would have interest in joining the Historical Society Investment Committee to help manage the organization’s portfolio.
“This seemed to be a great opportunity to combine my niche knowledge/background in work that I enjoy with giving back to an important local organization,” Ms. DiOrio said.
Her husband Harry went to high school on the Island and introduced her to the Island while she was in college. His brother, Phil, is a member of the Shelter Island Zoning Board of Appeals.
Their niece, Maria DiOrio, is a special education teacher at the school and nephew Chris DiOrio runs Island Time Farm and manages the Farmers Market at the Historical Society.
The DiOrios bought a house on the Island in 2007 to spend more time with family here. They have been supporters of the Historical Society, mostly through attending events and programs.
“I welcomed taking this position because it’s exactly the type of work I do and I enjoy the satisfaction of helping investors plan for their financial goals,” Ms. DiOrio said.