President and CEO

The Oahe Family YMCA is seeking an innovative, strategic and community minded individual to serve as its next President & CEO. 
Job Description

Position:  President and CEO

Address:  900 East Church, Pierre, SD 57501

The Oahe Family YMCA is an equal opportunity employer

committed to valuing diversity and practicing inclusion.

The Oahe YMCA has a commitment to creating a culture of safety. 

The Opportunity

Located in Pierre, the capital city of South Dakota, the Oahe Family YMCA (Y) offers an excellent opportunity for a motivated and cause-driven professional to take the next step in their career. Continuing the success of the previous CEO, the new leader will have experience with leading and developing staff, fund development, and facility management. They will join a strong group of energized board members with a true passion for the mission and love for the community.

The Y was founded in 1971 and has served the Pierre/Ft. Pierre area for over 50 years. The organization is a leader for improving the overall quality of life for all youth and adults in the community by delivering inclusive programming that provides a positive and safe environment and supports the development of the basic core values of honesty, respect, responsibility, and caring. 

The Y’s deep roots in the community started in the Masonic Temple and the church located next to the State Theater in Pierre. Out of this storefront operation, support and programming continued to grow and the original building opened in 1978. The Pierre Aquatic Center was added in 2000 and the Y has undergone two additional phases of expansion since 2019. The second phase will be complete in July 2024. 

The building additions are a testament to the unwavering commitment of the board of directors, staff, volunteers, and community partners, and a reflection of the tremendous support received from generous donors. 

Our Mission 

To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.

Our Cause

The Oahe Family YMCA serves the Pierre/Ft. Pierre area through programs that provide a positive, safe environment and support the development of the basic core values of honesty, respect, responsibility, and caring.

Position Description

The Oahe Family YMCA is seeking an innovative, strategic and community minded individual to serve as its next President & CEO. The President & CEO will build trust and extend the breadth and depth of the Y’s reach within the community’s diverse population and across its service area. They will work to advance the feelings of connectedness both internally within the Y and externally in the greater community and they will lead collaborative efforts to grow and maintain productive working relationships that enhance the Y’s reputation and further its mission and cause. 


Minimum Criteria for candidates:

1.      Accredited 4-year college degree or equivalent experience.

2.      Must demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication skills and personal values consistent with the YMCA mission.

3.      Minimum five years prior experience in a senior management role with a YMCA or related experience at a comparable organization with direct supervision of multiple levels of staff and employees.

4.      Must have the ability to develop and strengthen community relationships.

5.      Have the ability to develop innovative programs, review and enhance programs being offered or considered for both economy and the effectiveness in broadening our engagement in the communities in which we serve.

6.      Strategic planning and Fundraising experience including annual campaigns and the securing of grants.

7.      Fiscally sound business management approach.

8.      A proven track record of accomplishment of progressive budgetary leadership and advanced fiscal management practices.

9.      YMCA Organizational Leader Certification or ability to achieve within 3 years.

Essential Functions

Key Performance Objectives 

Build and Lead Staff:  Ensure a talent development system is in place and executed effectively with cultural competence. Hire, motivate, nurture, retain, and hold staff accountable for key objectives. Work towards recruiting, retaining, developing and promoting staff that represent the diversity of the communities you serve. Encourage the team by creating a spirit of camaraderie, inclusion, and sense of mission and purpose. Create a learning organization to help staff achieve their highest potential. Key competencies: Developing Self & Others, Inclusion, Emotional Maturity, Change Leadership. 

Improve Operating Performance:  Engage the board and appropriate staff to develop an annual tactical plan for identifying and achieving key goals and objectives towards operating with safe, relevant, and sustainable practices. Quickly address issues that may arise, forecast future needs, and manage and direct the Y’s operations and activities. Key competencies: Developing Self & Others, Critical Thinking & Decision Making, Innovation 

Fiscal Management:  Use high-level financial analysis to forecast financial trends, growth and stability, while consistently leading the organization to balance or surplus operations by growing earned revenue and contributions and controlling costs. Empower and guide staff leaders to lead their departments to successful financial operation. Develop and implement stewardship strategies. Key competencies: Fiscal Management, Critical Thinking & Decision Making, Developing Self & Others, Philanthropy 

Develop and Implement a Strategic Plan:  Work effectively with volunteers, community leaders, and key staff, to create and develop a strategic plan that addresses the needs of the communities served by the Y and includes defined organizational strategies, a clear implementation plan with deliverables, and measurable goals. Key competencies: Change Leadership, Communication & Influence, Critical Thinking & Decision Making, Program/Project Management 

Steward Fundraising Efforts: Develop and implement an annual fundraising plan that will establish the YMCA as a leading nonprofit organization within the community through the engagement of members, volunteers, staff, and donors. Identify the need for successful capital fundraising, while taking the organization to a new level of effectiveness and impact in annual giving and endowment. Key competencies: Philanthropy, Engaging Community, Communication & Influence 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement 

The Oahe Family YMCA (Y) is an inclusive organization open to all. We welcome all people regardless of ability, age, background, ethnicity/race, faith, gender, or sexual orientation. The Y believes that in a diverse world, we are stronger when we are inclusive, when our doors are open to all and when everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. 

Oahe Family YMCA Facts 

In 1971, an altruistic group of volunteers founded the Oahe Family YMCA (Y) in Pierre. The humble beginning started in the Masonic Temple and the "Little Church" located next to the State Theater. Out of this storefront operation, support and programming continued to grow and the original building opened in 1978. 

To keep pace with its growing membership and community needs, in 1997 the Y added a gym, track, weight rooms, classroom, and cardio area. In 2019, Phase 1 of a two-phased expansion was completed and included an additional aerobics studio, new child watch and playground along with a new Cybex strength room. 

In 2000, the Aquatic Center was added featuring an 8-lane competition lap pool, diving board, water slide and play features along with a zero-depth entry and a pool specifically for therapy & swim lessons. 

In May 2023, the Y officially broke ground on phase 2, a $7.0 million building addition designed with accessibility and inclusivity in mind. This expansion includes a two-story, 18,000 square foot addition, a new Senior Wellness Center, a new entrance and lounge area, an additional basketball court, expanded Kidstop and summer camp classrooms, expanded cardio area and track, and a new weight room. Phase 2 is on track for completion in July 2024. 

The Y is located on city-owned land with a contract that extends through 2051. 

The Y’s service area includes Pierre (15k population), Ft. Pierre (2,162 population), Onida (666 population), Blunt (383 population), Hayes (134 population), Presho (472 population), Ft Thompson (1,157 population). 

The Board of Directors completed a Strategic Plan in 2021. 


  • Total Number of Members = 7140
  • Total Number of Membership Units = 2832
  • 3% Youth
  • 4% Student and College Student
  • 10% Adult
  • 63% Family
  • 8% Senior
  • 3% Senior Couple
  • Corporate Memberships are available. 

Branch/Facility Information

The Oahe Family YMCA and Pierre Aquatic Center are managed by the Oahe Family YMCA. The facility includes 2 pools, 2 racquetball courts, 2 weight rooms, cardio area, yoga room, aerobics room, lobby, basketball court, classroom, and multipurpose room. 


  • Swimming Lessons
  • Safety Around Water Program to all Pierre and Ft. Pierre 1st grade students
  • Lifeguard and Swim Instructor Training
  • Pierre Swim Team  
  • Adult Co-Ed Volleyball
  • Adult Basketball
  • Wallyball
  • Pickle Ball
  • Youth Basketball
  • Youth Flag football
  • Youth Volleyball
  • Preschool Soccer
  • Personal Training
  • Land Fitness Classes
  • Active America
  • Silversneakers® Healthways Fitness Program
  • KidStop Afterschool Program 
  • YMCA's School's Out Fun Club
  • Summer Camp
  • Childwatch
  • Preschool Adventure Camp
  • Kindergym & Dance
  • Pizza Pool Parties
  • Annual Half Marathon Run
  • Riverman/Riverwoman Triathlon and Riverkid Triathlon 

Annual Campaign 

  • The Annual Campaign goal for 2024 is $45,000. 

Previous Year’s Campaign Impact 

  • Financial assistance is approximately $4,800 annually. 

Capital Campaign(s) 

The organization is currently completing a $7.0 million capital campaign on track to complete in July 2024. $4,771,500 has been committed to date. 


  • Current staff includes 9 FT, 70 PT, and approximately 14 seasonal.
  • All FT staff report directly to CEO. (6 Program Directors, 1 Facilities Manager, 1 Office Manager, and 1 Assistant Program Director) 

Board of Directors 

The Oahe Family YMCA is a 501c3 charitable nonprofit organization governed by a local 21-member volunteer Board of Directors; ten males and 11 females. The Board consists of five active committees. Board members are enthusiastic about the YMCA mission and bring a wide range of expertise. 

Financial Snapshot

  • Current Annual Budget Size - $1.4 million
  • There is no current debt, however, debt may be secured to cover pledges paid after construction. Debt will be covered by the YMCA endowment over the next 10+ years.
  • Current Endowment - $3.6 million plus four additional donor restricted funds.
  •  3-year pattern of annual surplus.  
    • 2022: $51,600 
    • 2023: $7,397
    • 2024: $3,500 

Population & Demographics 

Ever since the 1950’s boom days due to the construction of Oahe Dam, Pierre’s growth to nearly 15,000 residents has been slow and steady. Most jobs support the functions of state government, healthcare, agriculture, or the hospitality industry. Compared to other large communities in the state, Pierre is at or near the top in personal income, unemployment rate, affordability, high school graduation rates and people with post-secondary degrees, while at the bottom for crime, commute times and healthcare costs. That’s why in 2022, SmartAsset ranked Pierre the best state capital to live in. 

The byproduct of good wages and advanced degrees is a demand for excellent schools. The Pierre School District consistently ranks near the top in the state across all performance categories. And the classroom carries over into extracurricular opportunities. There’s a reason many people consider this ninth-largest South Dakota community “Title Town” when it comes to high school sports. It’s the quality and commitment of the teachers, coaches and parents that continually generate exceptional community pride.

Area Amenities and Community Benefits 

Every community can talk about offering a great ‘quality of life’. Pierre’s advantages truly set it apart. 

Pierre is an outdoors paradise. Our crown jewel is the clear, blue Missouri River and all the recreation it affords. Leisure boating, kayaking, fishing, sailing and even scuba diving are all easily accessible. So are hundreds of camping sites within two state parks. The river also provides a spectacular backdrop for over 50 miles of hiking and biking trails. 

The area has been named the top location in the United States for upland bird hunting. Pierre has a rich diversity of game and year-round hunting opportunities. 

Pierre is also a healthcare hub for central South Dakota offering comprehensive health care and medical specialty services, including an 86-bed acute care facility and three medical clinics.

Recent community investments to support families and wellness include the new YMCA addition, a new state-of-the-art water park, a complete renovation to one of the local indoor ice arenas, new gym flooring at the Boy’s & Girl’s Club and four dedicated outdoor pickle ball courts. 

Salary Range:  $92,000 - $110,000 

Benefits:  Retirement contribution (7% YMCA/5% Employee), PTO, health, dental and life insurance plan per personnel policy are also included. 

Residency Expectation: The CEO is expected to be highly engaged and visible in our community. Living in the YMCA’s service area is required. 

Other sites for information:

Target Dates for the search process 

Resumes accepted through:            May 31, 2024        

Preliminary interviews scheduled:  June 27 and June 28   

Final interviews:                              July 23 and July 24 

To Apply  

Candidates will apply via the following website:

Application, References, Background Check, and Organizational Leader Certification:

Candidates must submit the following in their online application, uploading a PDF of your cover letter and resume. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. 

Candidates who advance to final interviews will need to submit six references (four professional and two personal). References checked only with prior notification. Successful candidate accepting the offer must pass a background check and must have a current Y-USA’s Organizational Leader Certification or obtain certification within the first three years from start date as the CEO. 

Questions regarding this position should be directed to:

Leisha DeSmet, YMCA of the USA Search Consultant

[email protected]

(515) 321-2916, or  

Mike Gulick, Executive Director, Heartland Alliance

YMCAs of ND, SD, NE, and IA

[email protected]

(605) 941-7438