Raised in Bellefonte, Pa., where her parents have a dairy farm, Lori Bierly Padua studied music education in college—Susquehanna University—but figured out fairly quickly that she wasn't meant to be a teacher. She ended up getting a master's in nonprofit management from the New School and worked first at the Orchestra of St. Luke's and then for nine years with membership, individual giving, and volunteer programs at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center before arriving at Juilliard in 2001. “Working in arts administration has been a way to remain connected to the arts and has been extremely fulfilling,” she told The Journal. At Juilliard, she oversees planned giving efforts and the school's legacy group, the Augustus Juilliard Society, and “works with the many generous people who are interested in supporting the school in this way and also with donors who are interested in making in-kind gifts, such as Steinway pianos, or fine string instruments.” Padua, who lives in Washington Heights with her husband, will run her 13th New York City Marathon this month.
What question are you asked most often about your work?
What exactly is planned giving?
So what exactly is Planned Giving?
Planned giving generally refers to gifts that are made through one's estate plan or some other type of financial arrangement like a trust, gift annuity, or retirement plan. [For more information, email Padua.]
What's the best part about your job?
People have such personal and often very moving reasons to support Juilliard. I've seen a lot of generosity and heartfelt desire to help our students. It is an honor to work with people who are considering making such an important and meaningful gift, and I would say that interacting with people like that is the best part of my job. It's also great to be part of the warm Juilliard community.
What do you think about when you're running?
I usually distract myself by listening to music, podcasts—Car Talk, America's Test Kitchen, The Splendid Table, and Grammar Girl—or audiobooks. If I'm really tired I'll do something silly like trying to count backwards in French, or anything to get my mind off the miles yet to go. But there is always something interesting to see while running in New York, so it's not hard to keep your mind occupied.
What's the best thing you've done when you've finished?
Eating is the only thing I have energy for and I've enjoyed some wonderful meals afterward. Luckily, I have very kind friends who have cooked for me after past marathons. One year a dear friend made me my favorite meal—everything you would eat at Thanksgiving—and it was delicious.
How does the N.Y.C. Marathon compare with others?
It's tremendously inspiring and brings out the best in people—and it's a wonderful way to see the city. It's such a moving experience; I'd recommend it for everyone (and I'm a very slow runner so I can say that)! I've only done a marathon in one other place and that was the Medoc Marathon, which begins in Pauillac, France. It has wine tasting at each mile, beautiful scenery, music, and everyone wears costumes. It was probably the most fun day of my life.
What are your favorite short and long trips?
My favorite short trip is to my parents' cabin in the Pine Creek Valley of Pennsylvania, where we go biking on a beautiful rail trail, kayaking, or hiking. My husband grew up in Hawaii, so my favorite long trip is to visit his family there in Honolulu.
What are you reading?
Au revoir là-haut by Pierre Lemaitre, which is an epic story from the time of World War I. I'm part of a book group with several friends from a former French class. My French isn't very good, but I'm making my way though it slowly.