G.C. YMCA hires new staff, promotes from within

6/18/2013

By The Telegram

By The Telegram

The Garden City Family YMCA has hired three new staff members and promoted five from within as part of a reorganization.

Those who left are Health and Fitness Director Stacy Crase, Membership Director Shannan Sullivan and Child Care Director Hannah Simpkins. Child Care Coordinator Valerie Paxson left in March or April after 10 years with the YMCA.

The biggest changes came in the child care and membership and Membership Services Associate departments.

"There's always change, but not normally this much at one time," said Marcy VenJohn, associate director of marketing and mission advancement. The previous health and fitness and membership directors were at the YMCA for about seven years each, she said.

Krystal Richardson will become the new family director. She will oversee the child care department, as well as continue to serve the family programs. Steven Lynch, child care coordinator, and Roni Knight, summer camp coordinator, will work under Richardson.

Lynch was previously sports intern and helped in the fitness department in the absence of the fitness director. Roni Knight will oversee the Summer Camp program, which serves up to 100 children daily throughout the summer. Lynch will handle all the child care payments, assist Richardson and Knight and oversee the 4-year-old program.

CEO Chad Knight said there were some problems with billing and accounts receivable where things were not put into the system correctly.

Knight said several refunds have been issued in the past couple of weeks. With Richardson in charge, he said things should get straightened out.

To maintain the success of the child care and membership departments, the YMCA promoted Crystal Ibarra and RaShawn Hewson from within, the release said.

Ibarra, previously the membership coordinator, is now the membership director. Hewson was the MSA coordinator and is now the MSA manager.

Keali Carr was promoted and hired to become the new membership coordinator.

Carr was working in the aquatics department and Kandace Kennis, member engagement coordinator, has increased her job duties to help the membership department for both branches in Garden City and Dodge City. She also will assist the chief financial officer as an administrative assistant with various duties.

VenJohn will help oversee the membership promotions and services for both branches.

All the changes focus on member recruitment, retention and building relationships, the release said. "To help with a smooth transition and use the expertise of our outgoing membership director, I felt it was best to promote our two coordinators to full-time positions so we didn't take a step or two backwards," Knight said. "The impact of these two departments plays a vital role in our overall budget, and we need to continue the upward growth in member service and membership."

Sarah Tighe was hired as the new health and fitness director. She comes from Jamaica, Iowa, with a strong background in fitness and group exercise.

"Sarah brings enthusiasm and high energy to our fitness department, and we are expecting some big changes," Knight said.

With all the staff changes, VenJohn said she doesn't believe things will change drastically.

"That's what we're striving to do — always making the YMCA a better place, a place with more opportunities, a place with more programs; just making things better for our members."

The YMCA, which turns 49 in August, has 5,918 members and about 75 full, part-time and contract employees during the summer. It drops to about 60 other times of the year. VenJohn said the new additions and promoted professional staff will do well.

"I think they'll do a great job. From part-time staff to contract employees to professional staff, we're all one big family. We work together," VenJohn said. "The professional staff all hold very strong qualities. They will be a great addition to our team, with Keali and Kandace, as well. Each one has worked with us as part-time staff."

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