New York





Maria Gilhooley

Experience Manager

At the heart of any company is its people: how people show up to work every day, how they feel about their work, and how it affects their daily lives. As Experience Manager at AREA 17, Maria (she/her) is here to learn from her colleagues -what gets them excited, what makes them tick-and apply these learnings to crafting an engaging and enriching workplace for everyone. By partnering with the Operations team, she is constantly looking for ways to streamline processes and bring more ease into each day.

Never one to take a traditional path anywhere, Maria received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting, and, after spending several years immersed in the NYC theatre scene and audition circuit, moved her focus to the hospitality industry. Maria was able to encourage her passions for food and drink while developing a keen sense of the craft of hospitality through working at establishments ranging from large, rooftop bars to intimate, Cheers-like neighborhood destinations. In late 2019, she transitioned into people operations at a digital agency, taking her drive for crafting personal and memorable employee and client experiences in a new direction. In the time since this transition, she has been proud to navigate our ever-changing world with a focus on inclusion, equity, and transparency.

In her free time, she enjoys spending as much time as she can in nature: hiking, camping, or just hanging out with her fiancé and their rescue dog, Lu. Unsurprisingly, she’s always eager to try new foods and is a big lover of natural wines and a cold, dry martini (with a twist, please!). Also, she can teach you how to shuck an oyster.