More than 400 guests and community leaders recently gathered for the YMCA of Central Florida’s Annual Meeting, which recognized leading 2012 local and global partners, volunteers, donors and staff who helped advance the Y’s cause to strengthen the foundation of our community.
Held Thursday, May 16 at the Lake Nona YMCA/Northlake Park Community School, the meeting also included the election of the Y’s new Metro board chair, Glen Davis, as well as the election of five new board members.
They include: Jim Alessandro, Senior Vice President, Distribution Marketing & Sales Planning and Development, Walt Disney World Resort; Rich Panner, Regional Vice President Southeast, Pepsi Beverages Company; Wayne Rich, Attorney, Broad and Cassel; Lynette Swinski, Vice President Merchandise, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment; and Jim Henningsen, President, College of Central Florida, Ocala.
In leading the awards portion of the program, outgoing board chair Helena Ryan thanked and recognized the Y’s 164 Lifetime Giving donors, all of whom have pledged long-term commitments of $25,000 or more to advance the Y’s cause.
She also introduced a special video presentation honoring the Y’s 30-year partnership with Dr. Phillips Charities, including our 10-year anniversary as the foundation’s primary support agency. In recognition of this world-class partnership, a globe was presented to Jim Hinson, Ken Robinson, Dr. Ann Manley, Eva Tukdarian and Dr. Margaret Miller.
Also honored were the Y’s newest major donors, Marion County businessman Frank DeLuca and Munroe Regional Medical Center. Each made separate $1 million investments in the Marion County Y, which has been renamed the Frank DeLuca YMCA Family Center.
With the entire Marion County leadership team looking on, DeLuca also presented the John W. Sterchi Award to his friend Bill Browder, for his phenomenal success in leading Marion County’s $4.5 million capital campaign. In capping a great night for the Marion County team, the Frank DeLuca YMCA also received the Pinnacle Award. Incredibly, it was the fifth year in a row that this Y has received the award, which recognizes exceptional achievement in revenue growth, volunteer support, financial stewardship and more.
With assistance from Trevin Martin and Emily Qualmann, two young Y leaders who will be attending this summer’s Global Teen Leadership Conference in Prague, the Y also honored 14 other major donors, including: The Roper Family, Winter Park Health Foundation, Darden, Wayne Densch Charities, Florida Hospital, Orange County Government, Lake Nona/Tavistock, Walt Disney World, Osceola County, Lockheed Martin, The Bert Martin Foundation, Bank of America, Pepsi and Microsoft.
For truly reflecting the spirit of servant leadership over 10 years or more, volunteers Rhoda Fisher, of the Titusville Y, and Tim Haberkamp, of the Wayne Densch Y, received the 2012 Ronnie Walker Unsung Hero Award. An additional 26 volunteers were also honored by their respective Ys as Family Center Volunteers of the Year. Click here for the complete list.
A new tradition was also begun with the first-ever Jim Ferber Award, which will be presented to staff who exemplify Ferber’s visionary leadership and 40-year commitment to the YMCA movement. Sharing the inaugural award were Jody Alexander, YMCA District Vice President, and Colleen Manahan, YMCA Chief Administrative Officer.
In her closing remarks as outgoing board chair, Helena Ryan highlighted a few of the Y’s major 2012 achievements in the areas of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Among them:
- Nurturing youth through educational initiatives, including closing the achievement gap among school-age children; integrating reading into all youth development programs; and earning two prestigious grants from Chase Bank and Harvard’s Bell organization to fund groundbreaking summer reading pilot programs at Union Park Middle School and McCoy Elementary.
- In the area of Healthy Living, she noted the Y’s progress in advancing its focus on health, wellness and chronic disease prevention. It is doing this through greater emphasis on personalized services; diet and nutrition; enhanced clinical and rehabilitation services; and stronger partnerships with local hospitals.
- Through its focus on Social Responsibility, Ryan said the Y is also serving Central Florida’s most fragile communities through 11 Outreach Ys, which make Y quality programs and services available to all residents. In addition to providing membership assistance to 51% of all Y members, the association also made major investments to improve the Osceola Y in Kissimmee and build a new Y Links2Learning golf center at the South Orlando Y.
Following the election of new board members, trustees and executive committee members, Ryan passed the gavel to incoming Metropolitan Board Chair Glen Davis, who expressed his pride and gratitude to all who helped achieve the Y’s 2012 success.
“I’d like to thank the many Y partners, donors, volunteers and staff who have made the programs and accomplishments we heard about tonight possible,” Davis said. “Without you, the Y would simply be unable to keep pace with growing community needs. And as we look to the year ahead, we hope you’ll remain committed as the Y’s momentum and life-changing work keeps on building.”