Gail Wilson-Giarratano, Executive Director & VP of City Year, Columbia. City Year partners with public schools in high-need communities across the U.S. and international affiliates. AmeriCorps members provide research-based student, classroom and school wide support to help students stay in school and on track to graduate.
In addition to her nonprofit work, Gail is owner of Anchor Shred & Recycle Co. She holds a BA in Education, an MS in Leadership and Policy and a PhD in Applied Management and Decision Sciences. She is a 2004 Schott Foundation Fellow. Her original one-woman show, “It’s Cloudy in the West” based on family history circa 1890, toured extensively. Gail has published two books for The History Press, Drink Small; The Life & Music of South Carolina’s Blues Doctor and Carolina Bluegrass; A High Lonesome History. Gail’s latest project, The Tao of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is a collection of “existentialist whimsy”.

Title: The Tao of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle-A sustainable earth and a world where caring is not at risk.
Description: There is a dual philosophy between the core human value of the caring we extend to each other, as equivalent to the care we extend to the earth. We can heal the earth if we can achieve this balance.
What would the news headline about your talk be? The Recycle Dumpster-Where Greatness Is Found!
What do you want people to learn from your talk? Recycling is just an example. Think of all the opportunities for acts of selfless caring that exist.
What action items do you want people to take away from your talk? Be your caring, take the action, become a “knight of faith”.


Where is your hometown? Columbia, SC
What are your hobbies? Finding a way 
What are you passionate about? Finding an even better way!
What is the best compliment you’ve received? “That’s really cool kid, you’re alright!” (Dad to me ever since I can remember.)
What do you want to be remembered for? She always managed to find a way. 
How do you push the boundaries? Change the street sign and say, “This way!”
What does your happy place look like? The sign that says “You Are Here”.
What is one thing that you would like to share that isn’t commonly known about you? I’m an introvert and proud of it.


What part of town do you live in? Lake Carolina
What draws you to Charlotte? I lived and worked in the Charlotte area for many years. After seventeen years of living in New York and Massachusetts, City Year Inc. gave me the perfect reason to come back south! In addition to my nonprofit work, I have a recycle and shredding business. We have customers with headquarters in Charlotte and other industry related business.
Where do you see Charlotte in 5 years? As a member of the Carolina Recycling Association (CRA), I believe that environmental issues do not stop at the state line. In 5 years, I’d love to see a diverse and dynamic Charlotte-Columbia recycle movement that will disrupt the industry. Together, we can create real environmental solutions that will benefit all our Carolina communities.


What animal will most likely be our future overlords? Easay Onkeymay