“Develop your own voice—an expertise in a very specific area—and become the go-to person in the industry.”
Those are the words of Virginia Gambale (B.S. ’84), founder of Azimuth Partners LLC, a global investment and advisory firm with offices in Greenwich, Conn., and New York City. Her company assists clients to raise capital, grow their business, and position themselves in the United States.
Originally a classical pianist studying at Julliard and the Hartt Conservatory, Gambale was on the verge of accepting a scholarship to study in Paris when she decided to switch gears and attend NYIT.
“I was a hardcore music student, but I really wanted to major in computers and business,” says Gambale. Armed with transfer credits, she graduated in two years with a bachelor’s degree and never looked back.
After working in investment banking for more than a decade, Gambale rose to the rank of chief information officer at Merrill Lynch and Bankers Trust and then partner at Deutsche Bank Capital. In 2003, she left to start Azimuth Partners LLC. It was a move that allowed her to indulge a personal passion.
She attributes her career success to being “the ultimate consumer and acquirer of technology.” In addition to offering personalized service to clients through her company, she serves on the boards of directors of Jet Blue, Piper Jaffray, and three private companies.
Balancing these responsibilities with raising her preschool-age twins has certainly led to creative ways of handling business. “I’ve been known to have conference calls where I’m standing in a school playground,” she says.
Driving Gambale’s success is the need to make a difference. “That something which wasn’t there yesterday is there today—whether it’s a governance process, a technology, or a better customer experience,” says the NYIT graduate. “I’m glad to be part of that.”
In 2006, Gambale was named by Directors and Boards Magazine as one of 12 “Directors to Watch” and has garnered numerous awards, among them Forbes’ Great Communicators award in 1999. She was named one of the top three chief investment officers on Wall Street by Waters magazine in 1997. In addition, she is a member of the Mentor Faculty and Thesis Evaluation Board for Columbia University’s Graduate Masters in Tech-nology Leadership.
Despite her successes—and the busy work schedule her projects often entail—Gambale still finds the time to play piano and teach her children about the joys of classical music and opera.
“Music remains a huge part of my life,” she says. “I breathe it in like air.