Y director takes job with Cancer Society in Albany

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 August 2014 at 12:00 am

Jeff Winters helped lead a turnaround at local YMCA

File photo by Tom Rivers – Jeff Winters, executive director for the Orleans County YMCA, discusses a $400,000 capital project at the Y in this photo in April 2013, when the organization kicked off the fund-raising campaign. The Y met its fund-raising goal and the project is nearly complete.

MEDINA – Four years ago the YMCA was mired in an $80,000 annual operating deficit, a building in need of significant repairs and a modest membership base.

Jeff Winters had a law degree and a good job at the time. The Medina native likes a challenge and likes people. He took on the task of leading the Orleans County YMCA.

Four years later the organization is nearly complete with $400,000 in renovations to its historic building, a former Armory on Pearl Street. The organization is profitable and has quadrupled its members to 2,200.

“I’m proud of what we’ve done here,” Winters said. “The organization is set up for the future. It’s on a good path.”

Winters, 31, is leaving the Y on Sept. 12. He will be executive director of the American Cancer Society in Albany. He has been living in the state capitol since last October, when he got married to a woman he met in law school. He commuted to Medina on Monday mornings and left for Albany on Fridays for nearly a year. Winters was committed to seeing the Y work through a capital project.

He leaves with praise and deep appreciation from the Y board of directors.

“Jeff has infused a level of energy and professionalism that has been instrumental in helping us achieve growth and renewed confidence in a key institution,” said board member Dean Bellack. “He will be missed. On behalf of the board, we wish him the success that we are sure will grow in time.”

The Y is accepting applications for the director’s positions until Aug. 29. Resumes should be sent to Scott Taylor, GLOW YMCA director, at staylor@glowymca.org. For more on the position, click here.

The Y in Orleans County now has 52 employees. Winters credited the “Y Team” for making the organization and its programs sought after in the community. Residents are drawn to Y programs that promote healthy living, social responsibility and youth development, Winters said.

The Chamber of Commerce honored Winters with a community service award last September for his efforts at improving the Y in Orleans County.