Greg Reed, Y director, gets promoted to Genesee, will help oversee Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 April 2022 at 9:31 am

File photos by Tom Rivers: Greg Reed is shown on the steps at the Orleans County YMCA on Pearl Street in Medina, a former Armory that trained soldiers. Reed helped the Y build many partnerships in the community.

MEDINA – Greg Reed, the YMCA director in Orleans County, has been promoted to director of the Y in Genesee County. Reed will continue to help oversee the Y in Orleans County, acting as a mentor to the new director.

The Y has set a deadline for Wednesday for applicants to be executive director of the operations in Orleans County. That person will oversee 30 employees, 460 membership units, a $580,000 annual budget and an 80,000-square-foot facility on Pearl Street in Medina. (Click here to see the application.)

Reed said the Y wants a director with the core values of respect, responsibility and a community mindset.

“Some one who is a doer and has a servant heart will thrive in this position,” he said.

Reed, a Stafford resident, welcomes the much closer commute to Batavia. He also will be part of the Y team that is developing a $30 million healthy living campus in Batavia with Rochester Regional Health and United Memorial Medical Center.

Reed will also stay connected in Orleans County, helping the Y develop disc golf courses at Gulf Street Park in Medina, Bullard Park in Albion and a site in Holley.

He also is working to develop a bike share program where bikes can be rented in Medina. Last year the Y also partnered with the Canal Corp. and New York Power Authority to offer free use of kayaks and hydro-bikes. That program will continue this year.

Reed said the Y in Orleans County wants to expand youth sports and programming in the afternoon and evenings.

The Y partnered with the Genesee-Orleans Regional Art Council on several projects, including outdoor art on the sidewalks and steps, and hosting the annual Day of the Dead festival. That event in late October remembers ancestors, and included free activities with Mexican crafts, face painting, dance and drama performance, sand painting and ofrenda displays, and special food tastings.

“My biggest goal trying to encourage people to see the Y as a place for community,” Reed said. “I wanted to get people in the door and they can see it’s not the same Y as it was years before. We wanted to recognize our Armory roots and show that it now looks different.”

Jill Pettigrew, an artist from Batavia, shows off a transformed room at the Orleans County YMCA to Greg Reed, the Y director, in this photo from March 2, 2020. Pettigrew painted the mural that shows animals having a picnic in the forest. The wall used to be white on top with blue on the bottom. It is one of several projects where the Y worked with artists to give the Y a new look.

The Medina Armory opened in 1901 for Company F, which formed in 1891. In 1977, the National Guard left the Medina Armory, a site on Pearl Street. The site has been used as a YMCA for nearly four decades.

The Y recently opened an indoor playground, and revamped its child watch area to be much more interactive.

“We’re focusing on families right now,” Reed said.

The YMCA received a $51,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to transform the sidewalks and steps by the Y with art. There was grant money left over from that project to pay an artist to work on the child watch room.

Reed also is proud of the Canal Club where members can explore the canal through exercise with kayaks, snow shoeing, biking and hydro bikes.

Reed was recognized fin 2018 as the Chamber of Commerce’s “Business Person of the Year” for building many strong community partnerships, and bringing new programs to the Y.

“We’re a wellness center and we’re for the community,” Reed said. “Our goal is how to make the Y so there is truly something for everyone when they walk in the door.”