Maria Cristalli

Maria Cristalli

Power 100 list

Maria Cristalli

President and CEO, Hillside

maria-cristalli-hillside-ceoYears in current role: 2.5

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Your credibility as a leader matters. If an organization’s leaders live the values of that organization each day, employees, customers and the community are more likely to be inspired and engaged in the work. Employees expect you to lead by example.

What’s been your biggest success?

I am proud to lead Hillside. Our organization has a wonderful legacy in the Greater Rochester region. We celebrate 184 years of service in February 2021. Our team has been given the incredible opportunity to impact so many lives. We work together with other organizations in our community to help children and families move forward on a path to success and help break the damaging cycles of poverty, trauma and neglect.

What are your hopes for the Rochester community this year?

COVID-19 has highlighted our society’s failures at the intersections of public health, health care and social justice. My hope for the Rochester community is that we work together to dismantle racism and the immediate and long-term effects on poverty, mental health and well-being.

What do you do to unplug in your free time?

I love to travel. I am an avid traveler who enjoys combining some of the world’s best foodie experiences with international travel.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 100 list for 2021. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at