20 Questions with Emily Ultan

Get to Know Development's Newest Team Member

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Meet one of Senior Services’ newest faces! Emily Ultan recently joined our staff as development manager. She’s jumped right in to help donors and supporters find new ways to further our mission. You’ll likely be hearing her name and seeing her face a lot. Learn a little more about her as we play 20 questions with Emily.

1. What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?

Hiking, trying out new recipes, and spending time with the people I love, watching movies and playing board games.

2. What type of music are you into?

Everything! I grew up doing musical theatre, but I also love pop, country, classic rock, rap, everything. Seeing Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden was one of the best nights of my life.

3. What was the best vacation you ever took and why?

During spring break of my senior year of college, I took a road trip from Connecticut to Winston-Salem to visit my then-friend, now partner’s hometown. Little did I know I’d move here 4 years later!

4. Where’s the next place on your travel bucket list and why?

I have always wanted to travel to Poland and Germany to learn more about/feel more connected to my Jewish heritage.

5. What are your hobbies, and how did you get into them?

I am a crossword puzzle fiend!  From probably age eight, I would look over my dad’s shoulder and ask questions while he did them. Now, we’re an unstoppable duo!  I have always loved to sing, just like my mom. Other hobbies include yoga, which I’ve been doing for six years, cooking, baking, and just spending quality time with my friends.

6. What was your favorite age growing up?

Based on home movies, I was having a GREAT time at age one.

7. What was the last thing you read?

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Don’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker, and a re-read of Animal Farm by George Orwell. Now, I’m reading The Sunset Motel by Simone St. James and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

8. Would you say you’re more of an extrovert or an introvert?

Extrovert who 100% needs time to herself.

9. What’s your favorite ice cream topping?

Brownie!!  My favorite ice cream combination is coffee ice cream with brownie.  Can’t beat it.

10. What was the last TV show you binge-watched?

I have binge-watched so many seasons of Survivor during the pandemic that I would be ashamed to quantify them.  I’m just finishing Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which is the funniest show I have seen in a long time. Other pandemic binges include When They See Us, The Vow, Tiger King, and probably more.

11. Are you into podcasts or do you only listen to music?

I love both!  For podcasts, I listen to Up First (NPR) and The Daily (New York Times) every morning, plus my other favorites: Why Won’t You Date Me? (Nicole Byer), Smartless (Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes), Scam Goddess (Laci Mosley), Dare to Lead (Brene Brown), and Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.

12. Do you have a favorite holiday? Why or why not?

I love New Year’s Eve because I always spend it with a group of my best friends.  We spend the day walking around Boston, get pizza for dinner, watch the fireworks, pick up champagne on the way home, then watch the ball drop in our pajamas and play board games.

13. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Eep! This is the hardest question. Rigatoni with homemade pesto and garlic bread. Banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery for dessert.

14. Do you like going to the movies or prefer watching at home?

If it’s a new movie that I’m excited about, I’ll go to the theater.  Otherwise, I don’t love spending $15 on a movie ticket, so I’m happy to watch from the comfort of my own home, with my dog snuggling up with me!

15. What’s your favorite sleeping position?

I am a side sleeper, through and through.

16. What’s your go-to guilty pleasure?

America’s Next Top Model, The Masked Singer, and ordering takeout when I have perfectly good groceries in my fridge.

17. In the summer, would you rather go to the beach or go camping?

I’d rather go to the lake 🙂

18. What’s your favorite quote from a TV show /movie/book?

There’s a song by Old Dominion called “Make It Sweet” and my favorite lyric is, “The sunset’s like a tangerine, let’s find a road we’ve never seen…”

19. How old were you when you had your first celebrity crush, and who was it?

Well… the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out when I was 8 and the next thing I knew, my wall was (quite literally) covered top to bottom with pictures of Johnny Depp.

20. What’s one thing that can instantly make your day better?

An unexpected text message from someone I love.

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