Mayra Genao, Director of Dining Services is beginning her 14th year of service at Dominican Convent. Her story with the Community began many years ago in Washington Heights when Mayra and her two brothers attended St. Rose of Lima school in the Heights with Sister James David McDonough as their principal.
Mayra always had an interest in cooking and catering. At 20, she was peeling potatoes at the Grand Hyatt. Soon afterwards, she worked as an Expeditor who would call out the orders to the cooks and ensured that well-presented meals were delivered quickly—a skill that is greatly appreciated to this day! From there, Mayra went on to work at Meridian Hotels where she was a waitress, hostess, assistant manager, and served in just about every other capacity.
At one point, Mayra thought that she might start her own restaurant; so, she enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. She recalls that it was a great school, featuring chef Jacques Pépin as Dean and graduate, Bobby Flay. After graduating, she decided that owning a restaurant was too risky, so she put her schooling to work in a French restaurant. Over time, good fortune brought Mayra to Unidine Services and to the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill.
For fun, Mayra likes gardening, traveling, and spending time with her family. She is very proud of her daughter, Jasmine, an avid animal lover who is putting her Penn State degrees in Animal Husbandry and Conservation to good use working at the San Diego Zoo. Jasmine’s love for animals may be traced to her many trips with her mom to the Bronx Zoo as a young girl growing up near Pelham Parkway. Mayra grew to love the animals that Jasmine brought home whether furry, feathered, or fish. “Jasmine has started her own business!” exclaimed her proud mom.
Mayra feels welcomed and comfortable with the Sisters and is grateful that her work is not merely a business. She says, “I am able to take care of people that I see every day and do my best. If they’re happy, I’m happy.”
Supporting and mentoring the members of her team is very important to Mayra. She encourages each person to continue to grow in his or her career, and thanks God for the commitment of her Chef and dining services team. She is also grateful that the Sisters are so kind-hearted and appreciative of her team.
Thank you, Mayra, for serving up so much more than good food!