A great new CEO

Published 9:45 pm Thursday, January 23, 2020

The YMCA is an important institution in Suffolk and in Hampton Roads, and we anticipate new president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, Anthony Walters, doing an excellent job at the helm.

The YMCA operates a facility on Godwin Boulevard, its Camp Arrowhead facility on Kenyon Road and after-school programs at several school sites in Suffolk as well as its own site. The child care alone serves more than 1,000 children daily, and there are 2,660 families representing 8,837 people who are members of the Suffolk Y. It provides vital services to locals and offers discounted membership to people who apply for it, allowing those who are low-income to receive all of the same services as people with more resources.

Walters succeeds Billy George, who had been the chief executive officer for the previous seven years and prior to that was chief operating officer for 20 years. Walters has been the chief strategy officer since 2017.

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Walters has experience in Suffolk, having done two stints of student teaching here nearly 30 years ago. That experience has informed his focus on character development as well as on other parts of the YMCA’s mission.

Walters is keenly aware of the need to increase awareness of and access to the YMCA and will build partnerships with organizations that can help with that.

“Suffolk’s really important, the largest city in the state of Virginia,” Walters said, “and it houses one of our largest Y’s in our footprint, and I think it’s a really great symbiotic relationship between the two entities. It’s appropriate that we’ve reinvested in our Y to suit the needs of that city, and we want to be responsive to all the needs, and we want to galvanize people to really take ownership and volunteer for their Y and make it their own.”

While we know Walters must maintain a regional approach, we appreciate his kind perspective on Suffolk and its YMCA and look forward to a great relationship between the city and its Y.