Heidi KirschnerPresident / CEO, YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County

    My tenure at the YMCA started in January 2011. My goal was to grow our local YMCA into more of a community center where our community could gather for not only physical activity but also other enrichment and educational activities. Ten years later our YMCA is clearly under transformation both physically and programmatically. Our Farm Programs and Bike Programs, both non-traditional Y programming, are thriving. Our STEAM programming and Girls write Kingston have begun and are gaining traction. Prior to COVID we started offering movies and panel discussion to gain knowledge on important topics effecting our community. Our collaboration with other community organization has grown and we recognize that outcomes are better when more are involved and we work together. This past year our Y embarked on updating and rebuilding key areas of the Y – in this regard COVID was a blessing. It allowed work to be done more easily without members in the facility. The Y is fortunate to have talented and dedicated staff. They are the heart of the organization and make it a great place to be!

    Prior to the YMCA, my energy focused on developing distribution networks for technically sophisticated fastening systems used in the assembling of airplanes, trucks, automobiles, trains, rail, solar panels, buildings and wind turbines. I was the Distribution Director for the Americas, working for Alcoa Fastening Systems a subsidiary of Alcoa. I gained International experience and a deep appreciation for different cultures. My desire to be home more often with my young family and husband spurred my jump over to the YMCA.

    I am a happy resident of Kingston, and enjoy all the outdoor activities this area has to offer, the wonderful owner operator restaurants and the access to the arts.

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