1 How did you come to work for the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne?
A: Fifteen and a half years ago, I finished my masters degree in public administration with a focus on community development and was looking for a job in the nonprofit field to get experience. I had a hard time finding something in metro- Detroit, so my Google search sent me to a program director job at the Y here in Fort Wayne. I moved here thinking I’d be here for three years to get some experience to open my own building with youth programs in Pontiac, Michigan, and the rest is history!
2 What’s your role as the chief operating officer?
A: As the chief operating officer, I manage the “operations” of the Y, which includes but is not limited to our 11 branches as well as supporting the strategy of the entire organization through membership, program development and more. I am responsible for the execution of our strategic objectives and outcomes as it relates to all business aspects of the organization.
3 There’s lots of talk about a new downtown YMCA. Will there be a new one built?
A: This is in the conversation stage at this point. More to come!
4 Is there a service or program the YMCA provides that you wish people knew more about?
A: We have an entire menu of Healthy Living programs which include a LiveStrong program for cancer survivors, a Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program, a Diabetes Prevention Program and Enhance Fitness Exercise classes.
We offer all of these classes at most of our locations, and we are always looking to grow our participation and attendance to serve and support our community as we seek to play our part in building a stronger Fort Wayne community for all.
5 As someone who serves on boards and commissions, what do you think we as a community should work on next?
A: This is a pretty big question. I think of things like child care support; overall community health and well-being, which includes mental health, maternal and infant mortality; and actualizing diversity, inclusion and equity work within local organizations as the welcoming city we are.