Blue Water Healthy Living
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YMCA CEO/President Announces Retirement after 11 Years

Nationwide Search will Begin Immediately 

[Port Huron, MI – August 14, 2020] – The YMCA of the Blue Water Area President and Chief Executive Officer, Denise Brooks, announced her decision to retire after more than 11 years with the YMCA of the Blue Water Area, effective December 31, 2020. 

“Denise is recognized as an outstanding, dedicated and community-focused executive leader. She successfully guided the Y though some of its most difficult times, and her leadership efforts helped transform the lives of those who need our Y the most,” said YMCA Board Chairman and Chief Volunteer Officer, Geof Kusch. “I am happy for Denise that she can take this next step, looking back at a successful career here in Port Huron, making a difference in the lives of thousands of people.” 

Under Brooks’ leadership, the YMCA of the Blue Water Area: 

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• Grew to serve more than 1 out of every 8 people in St. Clair and Sanilac counties 

• Implemented chronic disease management programs like LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA, the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program®, and Enhance® Fitness 

• Expanded the YMCA’s drowning prevention efforts to not only include swim lessons but Safety Around Water, a free program, and taking it on the road to pools throughout the area 

• Completed a $850,000+ PACE project focused on energy savings improvements to the facility 

• Restored financial viability in the wake of the 2008-2010 recession 

• Created partnerships with area schools and other organizations to better serve our community 

“I am proud and thankful to have served this YMCA since 2009 and this community most of my life,” Brooks said. “I’ve been honored to build relationships with so many talented and committed volunteers, staff, donors and community partners, who have guided and encouraged me and all of our Y leaders. Here in Port Huron, they’ve strengthened the very foundation of this community by bringing incredible programs and services to so many.” 

“Dave and I look forward to planning the next stage of our lives and feel fortunate that we will continue to enjoy the benefits of living here in the Blue Water Area. I know that the YMCA has a 

bright future with the wonderful board and able staff that are dedicated to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.” 

Brooks will retire at the end of the year. The YMCA Board will partner with the YMCA of the USA to conduct a nationwide search for the the new President and CEO. 

“Because Denise has built a strong staff team, we are confident that the YMCA will be prepared for this transition,” said Kusch. “Our board is prepared to step up in whatever role is needed to assure continuity of service for all those who depend on the YMCA programs and services.” 

The search process is expected to conclude in the fourth quarter of 2020. 

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