Volunteer Profile: Alan Gallo (STERN ’87, ’90)
January 15, 2021
“I grew up on Staten Island and I was so grateful that I got into NYU and was going to college in ‘the big city’!” For Alan Gallo (STERN ’87, ’90), that Violet (and NYC) pride never waned. After completing his BS in accounting, he began his career at American Express, earning his MBA in finance and international business from Stern by taking evening classes.
Both institutions proved to be lasting relationships for Alan, who has enjoyed a 30-plus year career at American Express, where he is currently EVP and Chief Audit Executive. He has also been consistently involved with his alma mater as a member of Stern’s Alumni Council and the NYU Alumni Association Board of Directors, where he is currently co-chair of the Recent Alumni and Student Programs (RASP) committee. And of course, the most important enduring relationship to come out of his move to the big city is that with his wife and fellow alum, Christine (STERN ’87, ’92), whom he met when they were both undergraduate students at Stern.
How did you first become involved as an NYU alumni volunteer?
After graduating from Stern in 1987, I started working but kept taking classes part-time at Stern to get my MBA in 1990. I was always on the periphery of alumni events after graduation and then about 10 years ago somebody in the Alumni Affairs Office asked me to join the Stern Alumni Council. Then a few years ago I started serving as Council Chair.
Why do you stay involved with NYU? Why would you encourage other alumni to get involved?
I was able to attend NYU only because of a scholarship. When I think about all the opportunities that my NYU education afforded me, I am so grateful for that scholarship. I want to be part of paying that forward and helping people who want to attend NYU but can’t afford it. If you’re an alum, then you know firsthand the value of an NYU education and you know that the world needs more Violets!
What’s your proudest (or most fun) moment from serving on the NYU Alumni Association Board of Directors?
I am very proud of the way the NYU alumni community mobilized to help students who were stranded by the COVID crisis. It was a great example of how alumni can help students in difficult times.
Did you have any NYU classes or instructors who inspired or impacted you?
I remember my undergraduate Organizational Psychology class with Professor Arbie Dale. After all these years, his lessons are still fresh for me; humans are human and, even in business, logic is not the only thing that motivates people.
What is your favorite NYU memory?
That’s easy—I met Christine Lynam in freshman year, and now we’ve been married 27 years! We have two kids who are older now than we were when we met. Sadly, we couldn’t convince either to attend NYU because they said (paraphrasing), “we’d be worried that we would run into you!”
What is your favorite:
- Food? New York thin crust pizza
- Book? I’m not just saying this, but I loved The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias by Stern professor Dolly Chugh.
- TV Show and/or Movie? Christine and I love the movie Moonstruck, which came out in 1987, the year we graduated. It’s a love story between two people but also a love letter to New York City.
- Song and/or Musical Artist? Right now it’s “Here’s Comes the Sun” by the Beatles.
- Podcast? The New York Times podcast The Daily is pretty good.
- Place in New York City? The West Village, of course!
- Social distancing activity? Eating outside at our favorite restaurants, when the weather allows.