Krisanthi Lilaj: The People Person
By Ilija Sekulovski
How long have you lived in Astoria?
Almost 20 years! My kids grew up here, I’ve spent so much time here. It’s my home town now!
Where did you originally live?
I was born and raised in Albania, but from ’91 to ’95 I lived in Greece. Then I moved here!
Does the culture in Astoria remind you of Greece?
Absolutely. I learned more about Greek food and culture here more than in Greece. In Greece I was in a small town. But there’s so many people here from different part of Greece. I learned more about the language, the people, the culture, everything!
You currently work at Alma Bank, did you always want to be a banker?
I always knew I wanted to work with people. It’s something I really enjoy. I love being face to face with people, not in a bank office somewhere. It’s something that fits my personality, and what I enjoy doing.
With Alma Bank, I was the first Assistant Manager at this location. I’ve been with them for 7 years now, and I really feel like I’ve grown professionally here. I really love it.
Are you involved in any organizations in the community?
Yes! The Kiwanis Club as well as the Hellenic Professional Women of NY.
Can you tell us about the HPWNY?
We meet once a month and put on different events – networking events. I was invited by one of my friends, and I loved it. You get to meet other women that are professionals – bankers, doctors, lawyers and business women. You learn a lot, and network a lot. It’s a great thing to be involved with!
What about the Kiwanis?
I’m part of that club because I love helping! We do kids events, as well as food drives, and more. With the food drive, I collect at work and bring to the club. A year ago I threw an event for women who just recently got out of jail. We help them with readjusting. We give them free makeovers, makeup, and more. We help them feel good about themselves.
Do you have any hobbies?
Any cool hobbies? My hobby is cooking! I love cooking and I love learning recipes from different countries – it makes me feel really good and calms me down. I also love to exercise, and travel!