Executive Director/CEO

Connecticut, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Jan 21, 2021
Feb 19, 2021
Position Type
Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time

The New Canaan Community YMCA is an equal opportunity employer

committed to valuing diversity and practicing inclusion.


Position Description and Board Expectations:

The mission of The New Canaan Community YMCA (NCYMCA) is to enrich all people in spirit, mind and body.  The current CEO is retiring after 16 years in this position. Under his leadership, the NCYMCA has evolved from a swim/gym operation to an important resource that is tightly woven into the fabric of the community and serves a wide range of members and community partners.

The Board is now seeking to recruit a new leader who will build on the Y’s success and standing in the community, while bringing her/his own new energy to the Y and its mission. S/he will lead the NCYMCA in its next phase of development by:

  • enhancing and expanding program offerings,
  • identifying and addressing solutions to community needs and opportunities,
  • engaging with community leaders and organizations to promote partnering opportunities that are consistent with the Y’s mission,
  • recruiting, empowering and motivating a talented staff, and
  • maintaining and enhancing the Association’s strong balance sheet to ensure financial stability and future success.


Job Responsibilities:



The ideal candidate will effectively navigate and manage change quickly and appropriately while remaining focused on delivering the Y’s mission to its members and the community. S/he will be a transformational leader, given to innovation, intellectual curiosity and reimagining the Y’s role in the community. The Board believes its new CEO should be an experienced leader who has the background and qualities that will permit him or her to achieve excellence in the following roles:

Mission/Purpose Driven Leadership: Inspire and mobilize staff, volunteers, members, community members and community partners to strengthen communities. S/he will be passionate about giving our community a place to play, to learn, to be healthy, to experience wellness and give back. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, s/he will ensure that we all have access to the opportunities, relationships and resources necessary to learn, grow and thrive. Finally, this leader will create a welcoming, genuine, hopeful, and nurturing environment dedicated to serving the community and fulfilling the NCYMCA’s mission.

Visionary/Adaptable Leadership:  Working with the Board and the staff, the ideal candidate will demonstrate the ability to identify trends and changes in our community and position the Y to be recognized as a leader--not a follower--when adapting to those trends and changes.  S/he will have the ability to prioritize programming and other initiatives in a way that responds to changing member and community needs, coupled with the ability to recruit support from community leaders, the Board, and staff to implement programming and community partnerships that position the Y to be recognized as a leading service organization in our community.

Build and Lead the Staff: Lead a highly motivated, empowered and energized team. Hire, motivate, nurture, retain, and hold staff accountable for key objectives. Work towards recruiting, retaining, developing and promoting staff that represent the diversity of the community we serve. Encourage the team by creating a spirit of camaraderie, inclusion and sense of mission/purpose. Create a learning organization to achieve the highest potential from its staff.

Advocate the Vision of the YMCA within the Community: Promote the NCYMCA as a community partner, serving as an ambassador for the mission, purpose, and vision for the YMCA within the community. Engage with community leaders and organizations to promote partnering opportunities that are consistent with the NCYMCA mission. Develop and cultivate relationships with key community stakeholders while always upholding the highest standards and values of the NCYMCA.

Develop and Implement a Strategic Plan: Work effectively with the Board, and key staff to update and develop a strategic plan that addresses the rapidly changing needs of the communities served by the NCYMCA.

Drive Operating Performance/Fiscal Management: Engage the Board and staff to develop an annual tactical plan for identifying and achieving key goals and objectives. Quickly address issues that may arise, forecast future needs and manage and direct the Y’s operations and activities. Forecast financial trends and operate with financial discipline. Demonstrate financial acumen to recover from C-19, invest wisely in programming, people, and the community with attention to fiscal realities.

Steward Fundraising Efforts: Support the Y’s fundraising efforts through ongoing donor and prospect cultivation, as well as major gift asks.  Identify the need for successful capital fundraising, while taking the organization to a new level of effectiveness and impact in annual giving and endowment.

Develop an Effective and Diverse Volunteer Board: Work effectively with an engaged and active Board. Collaborate with the Board and its committees to evaluate strengths and cultivate a diverse and inclusive pool of Board members who embrace the strategic plan and key goals. Work to ensure the Board represents the diversity of the communities we serve. Work with the Board to conform with governance best-practices.


Professional Qualities and Competencies of the next leader:


Ideal Candidate Experience:

  • Minimum five years prior experience in a senior management role with a YMCA or related experience at a comparable organization with direct supervision of multiple levels of staff and employees.
  • A proven track record of budgetary and fiscal management in excess of $3M or more annually.
  • Strategic planning and fundraising experience including donor cultivation, annual campaign, and capital campaigns.
  • YMCA Organizational Leader Certification. (Note: Candidates not already in possession of this certification have up to three years to obtain via YMCA of the USA)
  • Accredited 4-year college degree.


CEO Candidate Capabilities:


  • Mission Orientation/Strategic Vision: The ideal candidate will be a genuine, selfless leader with a passionate commitment to the mission of the Y. S/he will have a vision for how to continually expand the Y and the services it delivers to the community.
  • Ability to Navigate and Promote Change: The new Executive Director of the NCYMCA will face an environment with new and unforeseen prospects and challenges. The ideal candidate will be a leader who is able to adapt and pivot to new community demands and programming opportunities. S/he will recognize evolving staff and community needs, assess potential, and act.
  • Drive for Results/Operating Leadership: The ideal candidate will have a track record of not only operational excellence, but also creating a distinctive ‘member-experience’ orientation. S/he will have an ethic for constant improvement, take responsibility for collective action, and deal with the unexpected in a levelheaded and thoughtful way.
  • Internal People/Team Leadership: The ideal candidate will be an inclusive, empowering leader who hears all voices and promotes the Y as a place of inclusion. S/he will identify and develop talent across all levels of the staff, communicates openly and often, seeking out diverse perspectives and input.
  • External Leadership: The ideal candidate will be outgoing, visible, direct and confident working with community and town leadership. S/he must have the ability to work with multiple constituents, navigating sometimes conflicting interests, but always seeking to find ways to develop and strengthen community relationships. S/he will communicate comfortably and effectively in one-on-one as well as group settings.


Salary Range:  Commensurate with accomplishments and experience.

Benefits:  YMCA Retirement contribution, vacation plan, health plan and other benefits per personnel policy included.

Residency Expectation

Living within a reasonable commute of the New Canaan Community YMCA service area is required.


New Canaan Community YMCA Association Facts:


On March 4, 1954, the New Canaan YMCA was formed by a group of New Canaan residents.  They began offering programs and services to the community and moved into the current location on June 5, 1965.  Since then the facility has undergone several renovations, the most recent in 2003 and 2017.

Today the building encompasses 108,500 sq. ft., including a competition swimming pool and new 10,000 sq. ft. aquatic center, a gymnasium, a 6,000 sq. ft. wellness center, an additional Functional Training space, 4 group exercise spaces, a licensed daycare center and afterschool childcare space, a Kids Zone/Family Activities Center, new locker rooms, café, and multipurpose spaces.  The New Canaan Y has a partnership with a local hospital, Stamford Health, through which Physical Therapy is offered onsite at the Y in a dedicated space.  The last strategic plan was developed in 2018 outlining three primary focuses: Families, Seniors, and growing the Endowment.


YMCA Membership Features Include


Every day, the New Canaan Y works side by side with its members, volunteers, and other organizations to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. The Y has served 10,000 members by aligning its work into the 3 key areas:

Youth Development:  Nurturing the potential of every child and teen.

  • Approximately 6,000 of our community’s kids and teens are developing values, skills, and relationships at the Y that lead to positive behaviors, better health, and educational achievement through their participation in swim lessons, recreational sports, summer camp, childcare, competitive aquatics, or other Y programs.

Healthy Living: Improving our community’s health and well-being.

  • Our programs and resources are designed to help individuals achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle, regardless of their current health situation.
  • The Y offers free community health lectures, senior programming, robust adult and family wellness offerings, as well as the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Physical Activity program for cancer survivors.

Social Responsibility: Strengthening and supporting our community.

  • No one is ever turned away: In 2019, the Y provided the equivalent of over $275,000 in financial assistance.
  • The NCYMCA is recognized nationally for delivering programming for our special needs community. We serve over 130 children, teens, and young adults with special needs.
  • Each year, about 750 individuals volunteer at the New Canaan YMCA, providing both crucial services to the Y and being able to give back to our community.
  • We believe that investing in our neighbors across the globe benefits us all.  The NCYMCA partners with FaFu, Facing the Future Child Development Learning Center, located in Kibera, Kenya.  We support FaFu through fundraising and sponsorship and serve 380 children in Kibera from ages 18 months to 14 years old.

Visit http://www.newcanaanymca.org/ for specific program information

Staff: 45 FT Staff, 104 PT Staff

Board: 22 Board Members, 5 Emeritus Board Members

Financial Position:  The New Canaan YMCA is in a sound financial position with an approximate annual operating budget of $10M. In 2019 the annual campaign raised $375k with a goal of $325k for 2020. 



YMCA Service Area: The New Canaan YMCA is in New Canaan, Ct and has a service area which encompasses New Canaan, CT, Pound Ridge, NY, and South Salem, NY.

About New Canaan:

  • With a population of approximately 20,000, New Canaan is in Fairfield County, CT, near NYC, just 41 miles from Manhattan.

Advantages to Area:

  • New Canaan is consistently listed as one of the top places to live in Connecticut.
  • The town has an excellent school system which is regularly ranked as one of the best in the country.
  • Largely a community focused town, there are services and facilities offered for all age groups from youth to seniors.
  • The town has a vibrant downtown area with a variety of shops and restaurants as well as access to many arts and entertainment organizations and venues around town.
  • Abundant recreational opportunities exist for residents including Public parks with walking trails, golf courses, a town swimming pool, tennis courts, and playgrounds.


Other sites for information:








Target Dates for the Search Process


Resumes accepted through:          January 31, 2021

Preliminary Interviews:                 March 9-10, 2021

Final Interviews:                           March 23-24, 2021  

New CEO on board:                      April 2021    


To Apply

Candidates will apply via the following website:



You will be requested to submit the following with your online application:  A resume and cover letter, along with six professional references.  Note:  References will be checked on final candidates.


Questions regarding this position should be directed to:


Eric Williams

YMCA of the USA, Senior Director, CEO Search



David Martorano

YMCA of the USA, Vice President, Thriving Y’s, Movement Services


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