Jody Geist began spending summers on Shelter Island with her husband Bill in 1997 driving out from Ridgewood, NJ for weekends. After their children left New Jersey to begin careers, Jody and Bill moved into Manhattan in 2002 and extended those weekends on the island longer and longer. This includes regular visits to the Shelter Island Library and its events; now, Jody's grandchildren have fallen in love with the island and spend happy hours either at story time or just checking out books. With Bill's retirement looming, they hope to enjoy much more time here and to contribute to the island's causes.
In Ridgewood, Jody served as President of Friends of the Library. Under her leadership, its Book & Author Luncheon program was launched in 1988 with Mary Higgins Clark as the first featured author; the program is still running strong. Before moving to Manhattan, she was an active volunteer in the Ridgewood community, including fundraising for the complete redesign of the Ridgewood Public Library expansion of its Red Cross facility and, as a member of the Woodlea/PATH group homes board, working to provide enrichment of its children. She spent many hours a week volunteering in her children's schools.
Jody has served on a variety of boards, most recently as a founding member of the New York Harbor Foundation for which she co-chaired the annual cocktail and auction fund-raiser held at the NY Yacht Club. During her tenure from 2003 to 2013, it was a sold-out event, providing much of the income for the school’s maritime theme courses.
A licensed Clinical Social worker, prior to her retirement, Jody worked as a school social worker for Catholic Charities in Newark, NJ and at the Harlem Academy in New York City. While living in New Jersey she spent eleven years as a residential realtor and still has an interest in houses, especially the lovely homes on this island.