Yvette Edidin, 34
When Yvette Edidin and her family moved from Manhattan to her childhood village of Roslyn Harbor (pop. 1,200) on Long Island six years ago, it wasn’t the place she remembered. “There was litter on the street, speeding on the roads,” she said. “It wasn’t what it was like when I was growing up.”
So despite her dual degrees in engineering and economics from the University of Pennsylvania and her job history in finance, she veered into politics, founding the Roslyn Harbor Civic Association. Three years later, at age 31, she ran successfully for mayor.
“When I came in, the village was very restrictive with residents and tried to legislate its way out of everything,” said Edidin. “The budget was booming, [and] taxes had increased every year for as far back as I could obtain records. People weren’t happy.”
She used lessons from private equity management to shake things up. “I didn’t want to upset the ship, but I came in with a new cultural mandate, with an increased focus on customer service and being less restrictive.”
Some of the highlights of her agenda: adding recycling, a playground and a private security force, and decreasing the village budget and reducing taxes.
A graduate (and valedictorian) of the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, Edidin has a basketful of Jewish causes: she helps fundraise for the Weizmann Institute in Israel and the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust and develops programming at the Manhattan Jewish Experience, a venue for young professionals. She serves on the board of education of Yeshivah Har Torah in Little Neck, Queens, and sponsors the weekly “Chaverim” program for Holocaust survivors at the Greater 5 Towns JCC, in honor of her grandmother, Rachel Gleitman, who survived Auschwitz.
She and her husband, Eric Edidin, a hedge find manager, have three kids, ages 8, 6 and 3.
Edidin does not plan to continue a career in politics. “One of the biggest lessons I learned in starting charities and clubs in college is succession, making sure from Day 1 you have a good deputy to carry on your philosophy,” she says. “I came in with a focus on tikkun olam and [that] you have to pass the torch.”
Under a microscope: Edidin will soon join a volunteer research project in neuroscience affiliated with Cornell University. Guilty pleasure: She rooted for Juliet Simms to win on NBC’s “The Voice.”