YMCA boss calling it a career
Jayden Wasney - Nov 24, 2021 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

After 26 years as the CEO at YMCA of Okanagan, Sharon Peterson has announced her retirement.

“I am so proud of the organization we are today and the impact we’ve been able to have on our community,” said Peterson. “I’m excited for what’s next for this remarkable organization, which is led by a team of incredibly talented staff and dedicated board of directors.”

Through Peterson’s leadership, the Okanagan YMCA has become one of the largest and most impactful charities in the B.C. Interior, as well as one of the strongest in the Canadian YMCA federation.

During her tenure, Peterson and her team set and achieved goals continuously for themselves and their YMCA, helped make the organization become a valued and trusted community partner, built new and expanded existing facilities, and keep their promises to provide the community with high quality and impactful programs and services.

“Since joining our YMCA in 1995, Sharon has modelled a strategic, disciplined, supportive and progressive leadership style that has capably served our YMCA community,” YMCA board chair Steven Pavelich said.

“This has been well-evidenced by our association’s significant growth, the development of many innovative programs to meet the community’s evolving needs, a healthy internal culture and demonstrated community impact. Sharon’s contributions to our YMCA have made our community stronger, and she will leave an everlasting and impactful legacy.”

Some of the work that was accomplished during Peterson’s time included securing a 30-year agreement with the City of Kelowna in 1999 for the management of the newly expanded Kelowna Family YMCA. The H2O Adventure and Fitness centre was also built, and in 2017 the Y’s newest centre of community, the downtown YMCA, was constructed.

Peterson also helped bring innovative YMCA youth, mental health, family support and specialty health programming to Okanagan residents, and established hundreds of new YMCA childcare spaces, with four new multi-age childcare centres in development.

“It has been my great honour and privilege to serve our community,” Peterson said. “I will always remain connected to the YMCA movement and a champion of the Y’s charitable work.”

The Y’s board of directors is currently conducting an extensive search for their next CEO to ensure a smooth transition prior to Peterson’s retirement date of April 1, 2022. The job posting can be found by clicking here.

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