Support local YMCA

Published 10:40 pm Friday, December 14, 2012

Dear editor:

Let me introduce myself, Billy Rhodes from Anderson, S.C. I have been retired from the YMCA for nearly seven years as a CEO for 30 years.

Currently, I am serving as a volunteer executive coach for the National YMCA out of Chicago. I had the pleasure of visiting your community and Mary Beth Wyatt, your local YMCA CEO. She is delightful, energetic and enthused to be the leader of your local YMCA.

Our program was developed by our National CEO, Neil Nichol, to use the talents and knowledge of retired CEOs to work with young CEOs that have come to the YMCA from another field, or have never served in the position before.

Our function is to visit on site for two or three days and is driven by the local CEO. They may keep our relationship confidential or share the relationship they have with us, with their board, staff and community leaders. Mary Beth chose the latter, and I had the honor of meeting with her family, staff, board and several community leaders. Our focus is directed by the local CEO, and we do not tell them what to do. We concentrate on areas they want to improve as a CEO. We may pose questions, but we don’t do the job and give them resources or things to consider and act as a listening post as they do their job over a nine-month period.

We communicate and our discussions often include board development, financial development, membership, programs, facilities and maintenance, community involvement, marketing, staff development, training and relations. Plus, who the YMCA is as an organization and how the local YMCA fits in its national and international system.

Mary Beth recently completed a weeklong orientation and training program for new CEO’s at the national office headquarters in Chicago. I encourage you to support the local YMCA and Mary Beth. She has great potential, as does your YMCA. A strong local YMCA is good for a community. A great industrial development tool, a great place for family interaction, moral and social youth development, safe and affordable childcare and a place for individuals to improve their health and well being.

Please take the time to visit Mary Beth, go with her and some of the board members to other YMCA’s and see the potential for Clanton and Chilton County.

The YMCA is a non-profit that can really make a difference in a community.

Bill Rhodes