Thursday, December 7, 2023

Parks and recreation senior services supervisor named

Debbie Giulianelli-Smith 
Debbie Giulianelli-Smith has been named as the new Northville Parks & Recreation Senior Services Supervisor. 

Giulianelli-Smith has had a long relationship with Northville Parks & Recreation before her Oct. 30 start date. She and her family are longtime patrons of various Northville recreation programs, she said. Her two sons, now college-age, learned to swim through Northville Parks & Recreation classes and she discovered how to make wire-wrapped jewelry about 15 years ago. While she and her family live in Farmington Hills, she has a Northville address. 

Giulianelli-Smith said she is excited to take the reins and lead in these familiar services. She previously worked at the City of Farmington Hills Senior Division since 2018, most recently as Senior Adult Programmer. 

“Here, my immediate goal is to build our program up with extended activities through the afternoon,” Giulianelli-Smith said. “It's primarily a morning senior center and we will transition to more afternoon activities in 2024.” 

Her professional career includes stints as a substitute preschool aide, an independent cooking consultant and a product coordinator for a resort vacation operator. Her volunteer career is extensive as well. She assisted the Boy Scouts of America, Farmington Marching Band, Farmington United Percussion Ensemble and the San Marino Social Club in Troy, where she was a day camp coordinator. 

It's the social aspect of parks and recreation that she finds rewarding, she said. 

“I love connecting with people and helping them find whatever services they need or events they may want to attend,” Giulianelli-Smith said. 

She's already accomplished this in her first few weeks, said Northville Parks & Recreation said Director Derek O. Smith, who is no relation to Giulianelli-Smith.

 “Her ability to engage with the community immediately portends an active and robust senior center. That's exciting for our residents.” 

She holds a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University, where she majored in recreation/travel and tourism, with a minor in business management. 

Her love of creating jewelry continues. She's a lampwork glass artist primarily making glass beads, which she often uses in her jewelry designs. 

Her proudest work is her family, she said. She and her husband Jeff are the parents of sons Alex and Elliott, along with their two dogs, Amelia and Ruby. 

Giulianelli-Smith is a first-generation U.S. citizen. Her parents are from San Marino, a small country within Italy, so she has dual citizenship. 

Northville Parks & Recreation is a shared service provided through an agreement between the Charter Township of Northville and the City of Northville to jointly operate Parks and Recreation, Senior Services and Northville Youth Network. 

“I'm looking forward to serving the Northville community,” Giulianelli-Smith added.