President and CEO, YMCA of Florida’s First Coast
With a commitment to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y ensures that every individual has access to the essentials needed to learn, grow and thrive.
The organization has been serving Northeast Florida since 1908. The first Y in Jacksonville was on the corner of Laura and Duval streets in 1909 with only 12 members.
Within Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties, the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast has 15 membership facilities, a resident camp, a charter elementary school, 40 school-based child care sites, two facilities for people with profound disabilities and two youth development campuses. Last year, thanks to the generosity of the community and with the help of 2,420 volunteers, the Y served 89,375 people.
Beyond constantly making safety a priority, ensuring the Y has enough human and financial resources to serve our community and meet both current and emerging critical needs is an ongoing challenge.
Seeing firsthand or hearing about how the Y is making or has made a positive impact in people’s lives is extremely satisfying to me as a Y leader – knowing that my personal and professional goals have aligned to make a difference.
I grew up in Summerville, Ga., which is in northwest Georgia, near Rome.
First experience with community service
As a college student, I contributed to several service projects and was afforded the opportunity to help inner-city youth.
Your job before the YMCA
The YMCA is an international movement and in the U.S. alone, there are more than 2,600 Ys. I’ve worked with the Y movement my entire adult life in Asheville, N.C.; New Haven, Conn.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; and before coming to the First Coast, I was the president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh.
There are a number of ways to become involved in supporting the Y throughout the year. Thanks to our donors and partners, we are able to deliver programs and services focused on nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving the health and well-being of our community, and giving back and providing support to our neighbors.