President & CEO, YMCA of Greater Rochester
Years in current role: 23
What was your biggest success in 2021?
It was navigating the challenges associated with COVID-19. Not knowing which way the river would bend, the Y remained a constant in the lives of families and children when they needed it most. There was a tremendous need for group work and positive youth programming with the amount of human contact lost during the pandemic. I’m proud of the amazing Y staff who led our summer day and overnight camps, and our youth educational programs, safely with all the restrictions in place. Their ability to weather the COVID storm and serve children in meaningful and impactful ways was vital to our mission.
What are your expectations for 2022?
After making draconian decisions during the pandemic, we needed to change our urban delivery system. The creation of our Task Force was a watershed moment for the Y. In 2022, we are ready to fulfill our mission in new ways in support of all within the City of Rochester. Bringing together nonprofit leaders, community advocates and state/local lawmakers gave us the opportunity to engage like never before. We’ve already begun implementing recommendations with the hiring of our Senior Vice President of Urban Services, and I look forward to furthering our commitment to the city and enhancing our collaboration with other organizations.
What is your favorite thing about the Rochester community?
Having spent more than three decades in this community, I am continually impressed with its resiliency and ability to reinvent itself. After watching the evolution of major corporations that helped drive Rochester to be the Silicon Valley of the East, we saw the power of our creativity and charted a new path. Today, there is wonderful opportunity to embrace the diverse offerings, and the rich heritage of our region, to once again reinvent how we succeed as a community. Leaders must come together for common good, and I believe as we emerge from the pandemic, we will usher in a new era of impact for the people who call this their home.