Christina Zuk: Beyond The Grant Member Spotlight

Meet Impact 100 Jersey Coast Member Christina Zuk

By Janet Mazur Cavano

Christina ZukWhere do you live?
Long Branch, New Jersey

What do you do for a living?
I’m a lobbyist. For the last five years, I’ve worked for a firm in Trenton called Princeton Public Affairs Group, and our clients range from non-profits to education groups to health care organizations, hospitals, and businesses.

How long have you been a part of  Impact 100 Jersey Coast and how did you hear about us?
This is my second year. I’ve worked in and around politics my whole career, and I love it, but I was looking for something that was not related, but would still enable me to make a difference.

My friend Amy Quinn (Deputy Mayor of Asbury Park) invited me to an event, the summer soiree. It came at the right time for me and I loved that it was an all-women organization. I was so energized listening to Deirdre (Spiropoulos, President and Co-founder) speak — she does such a great job — she really sold it for me.

How involved have you gotten?
My first year, I served on the Environment, Parks and Recreation Focus Area Committee (FAC) and I got so much out of it. It’s great for members in their first year to do, because you really get a sense of exactly what the organization is all about. Also, I got back as much as I gave. I actually experienced a lot of personal growth — I’d never sat on a grant committee before and it was challenging. But it gave me the confidence to know that I can do things that are totally different and outside of my comfort zone.

What has been your favorite Impact moment?
Since I joined later in the season, I came to my first Annual Meeting as a non-voting member to get a sense of what Impact does. I went by myself and had no idea what I was walking into. I work in politics and I hear a lot of speeches, but I was so unexpectedly moved, literally to tears, by the presentations that night. It sticks out in my mind at how it really moved me, and I consider myself hard to move.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
I’m a very results-oriented person and I think this organization is a great vehicle for having the most impact from a single individual donation. It’s rewarding to see precisely where your money goes, and it gives you a measure of control over both the time and money you contribute.

What other non-profit or volunteer groups are you involved with?
For the last year, I’ve sat on the board of 180 Turning Lives Around, an organization that empowers survivors and families affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. I’m also on the Planning Board in Long Branch, and I serve on the board of PAM’s List – an organization that helps elect Democratic women to the New Jersey State Legislature. I also volunteer on the Asbury Park Women’s Convention planning committee – and our next convention is March 14th and 15th in Asbury Park – so I’m shamelessly plugging it here!

What keeps you sane and balanced?
I work out very regularly — this is the best way for me to stay sane. I also started meditating over a year ago. I use an app called Head Space — it’s a great way to start your day.

What’s the last book you read?
I always re-read “The Alchemist,” every few years. It’s tempting to try and control things in life and that book helps me to adjust my mindset, and take a breath. I find it really comforting.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know — a fun fact!
I was ordained online to perform a wedding back when I was in college, and have performed several weddings since then.

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