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By Douglas Sciorra

YMCA of the Southern Tier names Jeffery Townsend as new CEO


Townsend Brings 26 Years of YMCA Experience to the Role

OLEAN,NY – MARCH 25, 2022 – At its March 22, 2022 meeting, the YMCA of the Twin Tiers’ Board of Directors named Jeffrey Townsend as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective May 2, 2022. Selected by the Y’s Board of Directors following an extensive search process, Townsend will succeed Barb Sweitzer. Sweitzer will remain with the Y as Director of Strategic Initiatives. In his new role, Townsend will be responsible for staff and volunteer development, strategic plan development and implementation, improving operational performance as the Y recovers from the pandemic, and ensuring long-term sustainability and philanthropic success.

“During our search for a new CEO, we looked at candidates from our local community, throughout New York State, and throughout the Northeast region, but Jeff stood out among the rest,” said Mike Hendrix, the immediate past Board Chair and Search Committee Chair. “His energy, passion, and vision for the YMCA of the Twin Tiers is exactly what we are looking for in a leader. With Jeff’s experience in program and membership development, capital planning and facility development, and passion for the Y’s key areas of focus of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, we are convinced that the YMCA of the Twin Tiers is poised for continued growth and success as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“I am thrilled to join the YMCA of the Twin Tiers’ family and look forward to being a part of the Olean, Bradford and Wellsville communities,” said Townsend. “I grew up in the Y, where I learned to swim, which ignited in me a passion for swimming that inspired me to eventually became a lifeguard, which is a certification that I still hold today. It was in those early days as a summer camp lifeguard that I knew the Y was my calling, and I’ve been fortunate to have had incredible opportunities for growth and leadership throughout my Y tenure that have prepared me for this amazing opportunity to lead the YMCA of the Twin Tiers.”

Townsend comes to the YMCA of the Twin Tiers with more than 26 years of YMCA experience, currently serving at GLOW YMCA where he has served as the Vice President of Operations, overseeing program and membership operations within Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming Counties. While there, Townsend helped to guide the GLOW YMCA through the pandemic, leading efforts to reimagine how the Y could serve the community in new and innovative ways. These efforts have enabled the GLOW YMCA to expand childcare and camp services in partnership with local schools and municipalities. Prior to his tenure with the GLOW YMCA, Townsend also worked for the YMCAs in Buffalo, New York and Charlotte, North Carolina. Townsend holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Services and Youth Development from Springfield College.

About the YMCA of the Twin Tiers

The YMCA of the Twin Tiers started in 1886 in Olean, and over its 135-year history has grown to serve communities in Cattaraugus, Allegany, and McKean Counties. Today, the YMCA of the Twin Tiers is strongly grounded in its mission to build strong kids, strong families, strong communities. We are culturally diverse, financially sound, and have a positive impact on everyone in our communities. We believe that when we devote our full strength to the Y’s mission and cause, work in partnership with others, and build on our history of innovation, we can address the most pressing issues of our time unlike any other organization. Programs are always based on the needs and interests of our communities.

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

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