Chief Executive Officer

The  Whatcom Family YMCA is an equal opportunity employer committed to valuing diversity and practicing inclusion.
Job Description

The Whatcom Family YMCA has a commitment to creating a culture of safety.

The Opportunity

We are looking for a highly skilled, passionate leader and visionary who can build upon the foundation of this healthy YMCA. A committed board of 14 volunteers and a dedicated staff of 84 FT employees (10 direct reports to the CEO) and 220 PT staff drive this $8.9 million association.     

The CEO must align the day-to-day work of the Y with long-term goals, and lead the organization, its staff, volunteer board and members in promoting the Y’s image while expanding membership, programs, and services to address community needs as the Y continues recovery and revitalization efforts post-pandemic.   

The next leader of the Whatcom Family YMCA must be able to lead a strong staff team and manage an effective operation. Candidates must demonstrate their ability to identify the competencies and expertise required by the organization and attract and retain the talent needed to achieve the organization's goals. This individual will ensure that staff performance and development leads to superior outcomes in programs, member satisfaction and engagement as well as community engagement.    

The successful candidate will also show an ability to create positive and strategic relationships with influential leaders and community members and leverage those relationships to enhance support for the Y mission. The CEO is expected to be the face of the organization, upholding the highest standards and values of the Y; able to maintain a culture of integrity, high ethical standards, accountability, and performance, creating a spirit of inclusiveness, mission and cause that reinforces, encourages, and promotes values of honesty, respect, responsibility and caring.

Our Mission

The Whatcom Family YMCA is an association of individuals with shared values which enhance the community with programs for the spirit, mind and body. 

Position Description

This position supports the work of the Y, a leading nonprofit, charitable organization committed to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Chief Executive Officer at Whatcom Family YMCA sets the strategic direction of the organization; oversees its financial stability, staffing, development and operations; and positions the Y as a community convener and collaborator to address critical social issues, including being the largest childcare provider in Whatcom County.

Whatcom Family YMCA Facts

The Whatcom Family YMCA was founded in Bellingham in 1890. The first official Y facility opened its doors at the Odd Fellows Building in 1906 and moved across the street to our current site, formerly the Hotel Henry, in 1942. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement 

Everything we do at the Y is based on our commitment that everyone should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or identity, diverse abilities, age, religion, socioeconomic status or any other statuses or identities. Our work is focused on eliminating barriers to access, eliminating disparities in health, providing educational support, supporting working families, and growing our next generation of change makers for our country. 

Current Key Strategic Initiatives 

  • Equity: In our community, gaps in access to health care, education, economic opportunity, and food are large, resulting in inequities that make life difficult for many people. The YMCA will work to reduce these divides for all people and help them reach their fullest potential. 
  • Organizational Sustainability: Remaining financially sustainable is the cornerstone of the Y’s ability to fulfill its core commitment to strengthen and serve our community. In order to achieve long-term financial sustainability, the Y business model must adapt to serve and represent the whole community. 
  • Health: The Y has an opportunity to advance greater health equity and measurably reduce health-related disparities that adversely affect excluded or marginalized people. 
  • Youth: The Y will work to serve more youth with the support and experiences they need to reach their fullest potential. 


  • Total Number of Members 6,270
  • Total Number of Membership Units 4,278
  • 22% Youth (0-12)
  • 7% Teen (13-18)
  • 10% Young Adult (19-24)
  • 39% Adults (25-69)
  • 21% Senior (70+)

Branch Information 

Whatcom Family YMCA was built in 1906. It’s 74,000 square feet with two pools, a gym, wellness center and two fitness studios. Whatcom also has three new early learning centers, all of which are under 2 years old. The first was opened in 2022 with two classrooms and 1,600 square feet. The second opened in 2023 with 7 classrooms and 8,000 square feet. The third opened in 2024 with 6 classrooms and 7,000 square feet.  


Whatcom Family YMCA has strong partnerships with the local School Districts and other community agencies. They are seen by the community as a vital provider of needed services. As the largest childcare provider in Whatcom County, they have strong Before and After School programs and Early Learning centers providing care for over 800 children in the county. They have strong senior fitness programs both in person and virtually. They offer many evidence-based health intervention programs like Livestrong, Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring, Diabetes Prevention Program, Pedaling for Parkinson and Rock Steady Boxing. 

Annual Campaign 

  • Prior Year’s Total $391,000
  • Current Year’s Goal $389,000
  • Current Year’s Amount raised as of May 1st $28,000

Previous Year’s Campaign Impact

Total amount awarded in financial assistance $395,000


Current Staff

  • 84 FT
  • 220 PT

CEO Direct Reports

  • Director of Facilities 
  • Director of Human Resources 
  • Accounting Director 
  • Director of Operations 
  • Director of Financial Development 
  • Director of Healthy Living 
  • Downtown Early Learning Director 
  • Barkley Early Learning Director 
  • Heart House Center Director 
  • School Age Program Director  
  • *There are plans to hire a Senior Director of Early Learning to oversee all the Early Learning Directors, and move the Director of Facilities to Director of Operations – that would change the number of Direct Reports to 7 

FT Staff Demographics

  • 68 Female
  • 12 Male
  • 4 Non-Binary
  • 1 American Indian or Alaska Native
  • 6 Asian
  • 2 Black or African American
  • 4 Hispanic or Latino
  • 9 Two or More Races
  • 62 White

Board of Directors

  • 9 male and 5 female
  • 30-54 years of age: 8
  • 55-64 years of age: 5
  • 65+ years of age: 1
  • Caucasian 11
  • Asian 2
  • Black/ African American 1 


  • Current Annual Budget Size $8.9M
  • Current Debt $458k
  • Current Endowment $1.5M
  • 3-year pattern of annual surplus was 5%
  • Projected surplus for current year is 1% to account for minimum wage increases

Population & Demographics

  • Median age is 34.7
  • Median household income is $64,074 
  • 74.7% White/Non-Hispanic
  • 9.6% Hispanic/Latino 
  • 1.4% Black 
  • 7.1% Two or more races
  • 5.3% Asian  
  • 0.9% Native American/ Alaskan Native 
  • 0.6% Unknown

Additional Important Information

Area Amenities and Community Benefits

Bellingham, Washington is a community of 92,000 with the advantages of a larger city and the charm of a coastal town. Bellingham amenities include a robust arts scene, a thriving local and sustainable food movement and ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Bellingham combines local industry, the savvy of a college town, and a robust lifestyle dating back to 1852. The city is filled with magnificent scenery, a culture of outdoor recreation, Western Washington University, the Alaska Ferry, the Canadian border, Mt. Baker, the Salish Sea, local food, spirits, art and music. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia.   

Other sites for information: 


Minimum Criteria for Candidates:

  1. Accredited 4-year college degree or other relevant 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. Experience in developing new programs, reviewing and enhancing programs being offered or considered for both economy and the effectiveness in broadening our engagement in the communities in which we serve.

Preferred Criteria for Candidates:

  1. YMCA Organizational Leader Certification, or ability to achieve within 3 years.
  2. Fiscally sound business management approach.
  3. Strategic planning and Fundraising experience including annual campaigns and the securing of grants.
  4. A proven track record of budgetary and fiscal management in excess of $8M annually.
Essential Functions

Key Skills and Abilities 

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

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

Maintenance and Development of Facilities (Capital Development): Lead your Y through stages of a current or future capital development project, whether it’s initial planning, research and viability; architectural and schematic design phases; construction management; or the operational start-up of your new, renovated, or expanded facility. Key competencies: Fiscal Management, Program/Project Management, Change Leadership, Critical Thinking & Decision Making  

Position the Y as a Vital Partner for Community Change: Serve as an ambassador for the mission, purpose, and vision for the YMCA within the community. Possess the ability to develop and cultivate relationships with key stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, while always upholding the highest standards and values of the Y. Ensure your Y is seen as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community by connecting all people to their potential, purpose, and each other. Key competencies: Communication & Influence, Engaging Community, Collaboration

Build and Lead Staff: Ensure a talent development system is in place and executed in affirming, culturally competent and effectively. 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

Fiscal Management: Use high-level financial analysis to forecast financial trends, growth and stability, while consistently leading 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 

Salary Range: $140,00 - $180,000 (commensurate with experience)

Benefits: 12% Retirement contribution, vacation & holiday plan, health plan and other benefits per personnel policy included

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

Target Dates for the Search Process

Resumes accepted through: 7/14/2024 

Preliminary interviews scheduled: 8/27/2024

Final interviews: 9/11-9/12/2024 

CEO selection made: 9/16/2024 

New CEO on board (anticipated): 11/4/2024


To Apply

Candidates will apply via the following website:

You will be requested to submit the following with your online application: A resume and cover letter, along with four professional and two personal references. Note: References will be checked on final candidates.

Questions regarding this position should be directed to:

Nicole Bolding [email protected], Y-USA, Director, Thriving Ys or

Derek Smith [email protected] CEO, Pacific Alliance of YMCAs