Home Waynesboro YMCA hires interim CEO to lead facility in continued strategic planning

Waynesboro YMCA hires interim CEO to lead facility in continued strategic planning

Crystal Graham
jay parker waynesboro ymca CEO
Jay Parker

The Waynesboro YMCA has tapped a Y veteran to serve as interim CEO beginning work in late December.

Jay Parker, the former CEO of the YMCA of Central Virginia in Lynchburg, will follow Jeff Fife in the executive director role.

Fife announced his resignation in late October. Fife joined the Y as executive director in 2004. Fife’s resignation is effective on Dec. 31. A celebration to honor Fife and his work at the Y was held Thursday night.

Parker looks forward to continuing the good work that Fife has done at the Y.

“I am looking forward to helping the volunteers and staff of the Waynesboro Y realize their aspirations to be a catalyst for change, collaboration and broad community impact,” said Jay Parker. “Jeff Fife has long been a respected colleague of mine. I am excited about the chance to advance the good work he has done in Waynesboro.”

The decision to enlist interim leadership was made in anticipation of the YMCA reengaging in the strategic visioning and planning work begun earlier in the year. The Y plans to take advantage of the added insight and perspective Parker will bring to the process.

“The YMCA’s Board of Directors and I are extremely excited about the prospect of working with Jay Parker,” said Dave Mirra, board chair of the Y. “I am confident that volunteers and staff will benefit from the experience and skills acquired over Jay’s nearly 30-year Y career.”

Market research and an extensive internal performance assessment have already been done. The YMCA has also issued a survey and held small focus group sessions, seeking insight and direction from community leaders, people of influence and potential collaborative partners.

“The work already done has provided the YMCA with invaluable information, actionable insights and clear direction,” said Marcia Geiger, YMCA Board and Y transition task force member. “The Y’s volunteers and staff are excited to get back to the very important strategic planning process sometime toward the end of the first quarter of next year.”

Research, feedback and self-reflection have directed the Y toward exploring three themes:

  • Increase the Y’s reach to the under-served and improve access to Y programs and services
  • Convene and collaborate with outcome-focused providers to supplement and compliment the work of the Y
  • Work so that the Y is relevant as a service provider and sustainable as a non-profit business

“Based on all we have learned and the direction the Y is heading, we are excited to renew our strategic planning and visioning work in 2024,” said Mirra. “Before we jump back into strategic planning, we will give Jay an opportunity to get settled into this new role, get to know the great staff team he will be working with and get out into the community.”

The YMCA’s Board of Directors and the YMCA Foundation Board are considering how capital improvements, program innovation and collaboration could better and more broadly serve the Waynesboro community.

The Y’s volunteer leadership has already committed to and begun soliciting support for near-term scalable capital projects to address issues and provide upgrades to the facility.

“In the months ahead, the volunteer and staff leadership of the Y will continue development of a plan to meet, if not exceed, member expectations through program innovations, service additions and significant facility upgrades,” said Mirra. “All of that, plus existing and potential program partnerships will drive operations and the physical form of the evolving Waynesboro YMCA.”

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Jeff Fife stepping down as Waynesboro Y executive director: Big loss for Y, Waynesboro
Published date: October 25, 2023 | 2:25 pm

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.