Glennda Testone On the Power of Meditation and Good Conversation

The Executive Director of New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center on recharging after checking email and the book that changed her life.

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Glennda Testone: Kiss my girlfriend and cuddle my dog, Meatloaf.

TG: What gives you energy?
GT: Meditation, exercise, and good conversation with people I love.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
GT: “Comfortable with Uncertainty” By Pema Chodren. Her words and wisdom sooth me.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
GT: Sadly, next to me. It’s my alarm, though I have considered moving it since reading your book…

TG: How do you deal with email?
GT: I do it in the morning and then do something that recharges me; listen to a podcast, go to the gym, read a book.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?GT: Meditate.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
GT: Right after the election. I felt the weight of my own disappointment and my communities. I was scared, overwhelmed and deeply sad. I overcame it by regaining my power and agency to make change and improve this world, regardless of the obstacles.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
GT: “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need!”


Glennda Testone is the Executive Director of New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. Since joining The Center, she has strengthened its programs for adults, youth and families, ensuring all LGBT New Yorkers have an opportunity to live happy, healthy lives. Over the course of her tenure, Testone helped launch a new Center brand and website, celebrated 30 years of service by the organization and completed a $9M capital building renovation to transform the LGBT community’s home on W 13 Street. Testone previously served as Vice President at The Women’s Media Center and Senior Director of Media Programs for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).