Alumni Alumni Spotlight: Gia Machlin

By Tzipporah Shapiro
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Young Judaea has been a huge part of Gia Machlin’s  life since the spring of 1978 when she attended her first YJ convention at TY. Gia attended TY as a camper (Alumim) that summer, and loved it so much she came back to TY every summer after that until she went on Year Course in 1982. She was also on the Westchester Mazkirut all through her high school years and was the president of Westchester region her senior year. She worked at Sprout Lake, and at TY in the kitchen and the office.

After returning from Year Course in 1983, Gia attended the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at Columbia University and then received her MBA from the Columbia Business School. But it was her time in Young Judaea, she says, that really left a lasting impact on her. “My years in Young Judaea helped me realize that I could use my leadership skills not just in business, but in philanthropy and tikkun olam as well.”

Gia is the President & CEO of EcoPlum, Inc. which was founded on the principle of combating environmental issues through social enterprises. EcoPlum is certified nationally as a women-owned business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and is a Green America “Gold” approved business. Gia and EcoPlum have been featured on ForbesBooks Radio, Green is Good Radio, WOR Talk Radio, and the Trash Talking with Eco Warriors podcast, plus in Crain’s New York, Inc. Magazine, Café Mom, and many other business publications. Gia is a 2020 Enterprising Women of Year Award winner.

Prior to founding EcoPlum, Gia was President of MMC 20/20 Systems, Inc. In 1998, Gia co-founded Plan Data Management, Inc. (PDM) growing it into a thriving software and data services provider servicing Fortune 500 companies. A public company acquired PDM in 2006. Gia’s professional experience also includes management consulting at the Machlin Consulting Group and Deloitte & Touche, along with sales and marketing roles at Unisys and AT&T.

Gia serves as Board President of the Blue Card, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides cash assistance to needy Holocaust survivors living in the United States. Gia is a longtime member of the Women Presidents’ Organization and a founding member of the Columbia Business School Alumni Club’s Sustainable Business Committee. She volunteered for NYC public schools for 14 years.

Even now, 42 years after she came to her first convention, Gia counts her YJ friends among the closest in her life.

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