Wrapping up his third week as executive director of the Cass County YMCA, Brent Kelley has been busy getting to know YMCA staff, board members and as many members as he can.
“I think it’s important because the Y is so much more than a workout facility,” Kelley said. “It’s a community within the larger community of Cass County.”
Kelley has been meeting with board members Lisa Swaim and Brian Morrill weekly and following a 90-day transition outline from YMCA USA. Morrill is on a committee made of six board members who answer any questions Kelley might have and try to make his transition as seamless as possible, Morrill said.
In a meeting Aug. 14, board members and key staff members will meet with Kelley to brainstorm the big picture of where they want the YMCA to be in three to four years.
“It’s kind of a blank canvas meeting,” Kelley said. “We’ll categorize, prioritize, then do strategic planning to give us a clear road map, so when we are making decisions about programs and community involvement, we will know if it fits in with that direction.”
Once needs are identified, they’ll start to talk specifically about what has to be done to fill them, Morrill said.
“It’s going to be great for Brent because he needs to be a part of the planning,” Morrill said. “It’s not like the plan has already been developed. It’s going to be a shared vision of Brent, the staff and board and hopefully we’ll be able to hit the ground running and start to implement it.”
Morrill said he thinks Kelley is off to a great start. Morrill was interim director after the April resignation of former director Shelly Butler and prior to Kelley being selected as the current executive director.
“He has an advantage because he is a Cass County native,” Morrill said. “His management style fits well with what our YMCA needs. He’ll hold people accountable for what needs to be achieved but he also has a calmness to him. We’re not just going to be spinning our wheels.”
The experience for Kelley has been great and board members and staff have been welcoming and supportive, he said.
“I feel like I’ve been here a lot longer than I have because of the relationships I’ve developed,” Kelley said. “I can see that they’re great Y people and it energizes me to see those characteristics.”
Kelley will be residing in Logansport by the end of the month.
“We were planning to move, but the opportunity to work at the YMCA really solidified it,” Kelley said. “It’s certainly an opportunity to live here in Logansport, where a good majority of members are located.”
Kelley said he couldn’t be more proud to be executive director of the YMCA.
“It’s going to take a community to continue to lead this YMCA in a direction everyone wants,” Kelley said.
Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or email@example.com.