Beth Galetti was born in Baltimore. Her mother had an MBA and was an investment banker.
“She was kind of a glass-ceiling breaker herself at times,” Galetti said of her mother. “And she taught me to be really independent. One of her big lessons to me was, as a woman, you should always have your own money. And so, from about age 11, I started babysitting and by age 14 I was working as a supervisor at an A&W making some awesome root beer floats.”
Her father, Mike Nussbaum, was an executive at AT&T. She said he taught her to think bigger, “that there was no ceiling.”
“He was just never willing to accept anything but me just really trying, reaching for the stars,” Galetti said.
As a result, she said, “I really always like to learn and be challenged.”
Nussbaum recalled that when Galetti was 4, she wanted to learn to use her father’s Heathkit calculator, a gift from his wife. “I thought, ‘Well, there’s no way I’m going to let her use the calculator unless she can do what the calculator does without the calculator,” Nussbaum said.
“So what we did is, I’d make up questions for her,” he said. “We started with addition and then she would check the answers on the calculator. Well, in a month, we were through addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and square roots.”
In later years, she decided she was tired of high school and told her parents she wanted to skip graduation and start college. It wasn’t long before Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, had accepted her as a student at age 16.
She graduated from Lehigh with a B.S. in electrical engineering, then went on to earn an MBA from Colorado Technical University.
“She just go-go-goes and is extremely curious,” Nussbaum said. “It’s kind of frightening sometimes how quickly she wants to go.”