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STAR OF BROOKLYN: Judith Grimaldi

Community: Judith Grimaldi has been giving to the community since she first moved to Bay Ridge as a young newlywed. She served on the Alliance of Bay Ridge Block Associations for 20 years while her children were growing up. She is presently a member of Community Board 10, and is involved in local political issues and women’s issues.

Grimaldi is also passionate about helping the elderly. In addition to working at the Bay Ridge Center for Older Adults for 15 years, she has founded a number of charities to help elderly members of the community, like Seniors in Touch, Community Cares and a bus service called Bay Ridge on the Move.

Career: Grimaldi’s career in elder law began when, as a social worker, she met an attorney and realized she could use her same skills to advocate for older people. Now, she does work bringing senior issues to the forefront. She is currently a chair of the New York State Bar Association, and also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

Personal Life: At the moment, the greatest achievement of Grimaldi’s personal life has been speaking with her son who just had a child, anticipating two more grandchildren in the near future, and realizing that her children have grown up with the same ethics as she has. “If the saying ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ is true, I’ll be very happy,” Grimaldi said.

Awards: Grimaldi was named a Super Lawyer in 2011 and Best Lawyer in 2012 by “New York Magazine.” She has also been selected by the same magazine as a Rising Star Women Lawyer. She has received recognition for her work with Seniors in Touch and the Bay Ridge Community Council, as well.

Challenge: Grimaldi’s greatest challenge has been balancing her career, her community and her personal life. “When you’re trying to serve, balance is the greatest challenge in giving everyone your love,” she said.

Motivation: Grimaldi’s has been her big Italian family, with eight brothers and sisters. Grimaldi watched her mother work very hard, not just as a mother, but as a den mother and a member of the Rosary Society. “I learned from the best,” she said. “She taught me to do it all well, with a smile, and to help people along the way.”

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