Who We Are
About Our Director: David Gabor
As a kid growing up in Huntington, New York, I recognized at an early age how one person can make a difference, even when doing little things. I remember when I was in elementary school and a girl had just moved into our district, and the gym teacher told the girls that they had to pick a partner for square dancing in gym class. She looked terrified. I saw that and asked her if she would do a favor and pick me. She relaxed and soon became my friend. She was the only Black girl in the gym class.
In high school I was president of the Model United Nations (UN) club, an extra-curricular activity in which students roleplay delegates to the United Nations and simulate UN committees. As part of this, I gave speeches at various Model UN events, including one at the General Assembly in NYC. It was certainly a challenge; I was nervous but learned to focus on the message and not get overcome by the moment.
I was inspired to attend college at the University of Michigan, due to its reputation, great faculty, the challenges it offered, and its sports legacy. While at U of M, I was a leader of the International Club. We held events celebrating the heritage of people from around the world, and observing their differences and similarities was intriguing to me. I made connections with people from diverse backgrounds, gaining a valuable lesson from that experience. I knew then that I wanted to make a career out of addressing discrimination and harassment and felt that I could do the most good with a law degree. I completed my J.D. at Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center.
My mother, Zelda, was my biggest role model. She lost both of her parents at a young age and became incredibly resilient. She faced challenges, including discrimination, throughout her life, and didn’t want to see others go through that. She chose to give back by setting a great example and advocating for others. My mom tirelessly worked to support people, even while in her 80’s and 90’s. She has a knack for seeing the sunshine, even on a stormy day. While growing up, my friends all loved to come to my house, largely because my mother made them feel welcome, has a great sense of humor, and she was the best cook. She also informally mentored and coached many people. We even had a chance to work together for nearly a year. I learned so much by watching her interact with an extremely diverse group of employees in New York City.
My father, Gabby, never had a chance to go to a big college. His family owned a lumberyard, Beachview Lumber, in East Northport, New York. My grandmother and her sister (my aunt) ran the business in the 1960’s and 70’s. Seeing women run a traditionally male-dominated lumber business was a powerful example of gender equity for me. My cousin Joey played the trombone with John Lennon. Although she didn’t play professionally, Sara, my sister, also had a gift with music. Sadly, the music gene passed me by.
These life experiences shaped who I am today. I am passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion. As a businessperson, as well as an employment and business attorney, my goal has been to help organizations and individuals work together to eliminate discrimination and harassment. I used my law degree to pursue a career devoted to employment law.
Over time, I have recognized that I can do more by helping companies create better policies and to conduct more effective training. The goal is for employers and employees to invest in strengthening the team, building a positive culture, and creating a positive perception. Whenever an employee files a claim of harassment or discrimination or an agency charges an employer with unlawful pay or employment practices, the employer loses. This is true, even if the employer prevails in litigation. This is true because of the cost in legal fees, disruption to the business, negative publicity, impact on morale, harm to employee engagement, and unwanted turnover. From the employee’s perspective, there might have been discrimination, harassment, or unequal pay.
I have spent years representing employers and employees in litigation and have handled more than 200 cases as a mediator. I have also spent years providing training and guidance to employers in a wide range of industries. I have had a firsthand view of what works and how employers can do better. I want to utilize my experience to help employers. I formed DGN Workplace Initiatives LLC so that I can make a difference.
I have been told that I have the ability to gain the confidence and trust of people at all levels of an organization. It is my mission to use this when training and planning.
I founded DGN Workplace Initiatives LLC with a simple goal in mind – support organizations to foster the best possible employer-employee relationship.
I want to be part of this change.