September 16, 2014

 (Presented during Aug. 28 YMCA Metro Board Meeting)  

Dear Y Friends and Family,
After careful thought and deliberation, I’ve decided to retire at the end of the year. My wife, Deb, and I have given it a lot of thought and prayer and have decided that this is a good time to spend more time together as a family.

We’ve had a wonderful 41-year career with the Y and have met some of the best people a community could offer in every stop along the way – Ohio, Texas, North Carolina and now Florida. Deb and I agree that Orlando has been the best. This is home and we plan to stay here – and no, I’m not sick.

The board has been large, more than 50 members on average. Some board members stayed for a short time, D60_1526 others have given a lifetime to the Y. When you have that kind of commitment – people who have given a lifetime of consistent support, encouragement and giving – it motivates us to give nothing but the best effort. It’s also very inspiring to other board members and staff, and we don’t take that type of commitment lightly.

D60_1465 (web)We – the board and me as CEO – have always been on the same page. The rapport between the staff and the board has been exceptional. For 21 years, we’ve had an incredible relationship and I will always value, appreciate and remember it.

It has been an honor to be associated with one of the finest Ys in North America. We have D60_1597(web) accomplished wonderful projects and helped thousands of people along the way. I often say that God has had a firm hand on the steering wheel. We have never strayed from our mission and vision, and without it we could have never accomplished what we did.

There are many people I want to thank, but I’ll save that for another time and another day. I hope you are as excited as Deb and I as we look forward to the next chapter of our lives. We are not done. We still have a lot of things to accomplish.

God Bless,
Jim