YMCA of South Hampton Roads assigns new leadership team

Published 10:35 pm Thursday, March 12, 2020

The YMCA of South Hampton Roads has announced new assignments to key staff roles that will help the organization more strategically serve the diverse and changing needs of its community. In December, Anthony Walters made his transition from chief strategy officer to his new role as president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, an organization that serves over 250,000 people every year in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Since his appointment, Walters has reprioritized the Y’s focus to cover five major areas: child safety, customer service, member experience, resource collaboration and military initiatives. “For 160 years, the Y has been committed to strengthening community by connecting people with their potential and purpose. As we enter 2020, the organization has a renewed vision for improvements in customer service, youth programs and military engagement — inspired not only by a change in leadership, but the evolving needs of our members and prospective members,” says Walters on the Y’s 2020 resolutions.

Among the appointments, which ensure these five priorities are fulfilled, is Susan Ohmsen, existing chief financial officer, to the role of executive vice president and chief financial officer. Ohmsen will continue to be comprehensively responsible for the association’s financial affairs. She says that her main goals are to preserve and protect the financial health of the organization and to drive strategic business development opportunities with potential partners and collaborators.


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For the role of chief strategy officer, the position previously held by Walters, the Y has appointed Dean Mattix. Mattix will be responsible for providing leadership, vision and direction to all staff in the multiple areas of human capital, including talent and knowledge management, staff recruitment and retention, career and leadership development, diversity and inclusion, and all program development. He shared that his main goal for the YMCA of South Hampton Roads is to be the beacon for personal transformation, along with the place that parents turn to for exceptionally safe, educational and accessible childcare. He wants the Y to be the place any child can find a hero, and anyone’s goals can be met.

The chief operating officer position, a role previously shared between Adam Kahrl and Bill Zazynski, will now be solely held by Adam Kahrl, with Bill Zazynski now operating as the chief facility and property officer, a position new to the YMCA of South Hampton Roads. Kahrl will provide total and complete oversite of day-to-day operations of all YMCA locations, to include membership, aquatics, fundraising, volunteerism and the supervision of the senior leadership at all YMCA locations. His goal is to unify staff, volunteers, YMCA members, and the community to serve others and improve the overall quality of life for everyone. Zazynski says his goal is simple — to create the best possible experience every day for members, community and staff. He will do so by providing leadership to the association’s properties, grounds, compliance, insurance, risk, quality, building/construction, new center development/planning, golf operations and information technology (hardware).

In another new position for the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, Amelia Baker will take the helm as chief marketing officer. She will manage the Y brand for the YMCA of South Hampton Roads by overseeing all content in the areas of marketing, communications, software and market analytics. Her goal is to work to ensure all of these areas work together in a way that heightens the member experience.

The YMCA of South Hampton Roads is a nonprofit, community-based health and human services organization that serves more than 250,000 children and families throughout Coastal Virginia, Northeastern North Carolina and as west as South Boston/Halifax County in Virginia. More than 30 percent of those families receive financial assistance through the Open Doors program, whose funding is made available by the generosity of donors.