July 7, 2013

Cass County YMCA board names new director

Former Kinsey director tapped for job

By Sarah Einselen Pharos-Tribune

---- — The board of the Cass County Family YMCA recently appointed a new director for the organization.

Brent L. Kelley, director of the Robert J. Kinsey Youth Center in Kokomo and a lifelong Twelve Mile resident, will take the reins of the local fitness organization July 22. His last day at the Kinsey youth center is Friday.

“The YMCA search committee was impressed by the integrity, professionalism and vision Brent Kelley demonstrated” in his current position, said YMCA board president Lisa Swaim. “Brent’s long held desire to join the YMCA family and his personal philosophy of using a team approach to leadership will be a great fit for the Cass County Family YMCA organization.”

Kelley has been director at the youth center for more than five years, responsible for managing a $2.3 million budget and supervising 80 full- and part-time staff members. He was a caseworker and program director at Kinsey before being promoted to the director’s seat in January 2008, according to a release from the Cass County Y.

He was one of four final candidates drawn from a pool of 44 applicants for the YMCA position, said board member Steve Sims.

“It was a tough, tough choice,” Sims said, but Kelley’s attitude and response to the board’s question of how to improve the Y’s market penetration stood out.

Kelley said he decided to pursue the Y position because it appeared to be a good fit for his personality and interests.

“It’s actually a position I’ve had my eye on for quite a while,” Kelley said. “I’ve committed my career to trying to help other people. As director of the Kinsey youth center, that was obviously our primary goal. I see this as a different avenue to continue to do that work. To do that locally where I was born and raised, in Cass County, means a lot to me.”

He is new to the YMCA organization, he said, and will work with local and corporate YMCA representatives to learn the ropes.

Kelley is also a Cass County Councilman and sits on the county Solid Waste Management District board.

He will be stepping back from his position as immediate past president with the Indiana Juvenile Detention Association, he said.

Cass County Y board member Brian Morrill has served as interim director after the abrupt resignation in April of former director Shelly Butler. She had completed six months in the position.

Sarah Einselen is news editor at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at or 574-732-5151.