Meet Our Staff | West Suburban YMCA

Meet our Staff

Jack Fucci

President and CEO

jackf@wsymca.org

The West Suburban YMCA welcomed Jack as its President and CEO in September of 2014.  He joined our Y after serving as Executive Director for the YMCA of Greater Boston and leading the Y’s in Brighton and Waltham, MA. Jack has 30 years in the health, wellness and hospitality industries, 15 of which have been in the YMCA movement.  He has led volunteer boards and staff teams that have resulted in significant organizational growth in membership, philanthropy, partnerships and community impact.  In his time with the Y, his accomplishments have included building the first standalone teen center in Brighton, launching an inclusive health and wellness program that serves individuals of all abilities and creating a Martin Luther King day of service event that supports families living in shelters. 
 
Jack is leading our new strategic planning initiative. In his short time here, he has led an aggressive period of fundraising and reinvestment that has resulted in the resurgence of our resident camp, Frank A. Day, in E. Brookfield, MA as well as membership and participation growth at our Newton facility.
 
Jack has a deep commitment to inclusion and community service locally and nationally. He is involved with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission Advisory Board, City of Newton Children’s Cabinet, YUSA CEO Strategic Planning Advisory Committee, Newton Rotary and the Newton/Needham Chamber of Commerce.

Administration

Kim Benzan

Chief Operating Officer

kimberlyb@wsymca.org

Kim was appointed Chief Operating Officer at the West Suburban YMCA in March of 2020. Before her promotion to Chief Operating Officer, Kim spent two years as the Y's Senior Program Director, during which she exceeded budgetary goals for all five program departments under her management and oversaw the implementation of several new initiatives including a girl's empowerment program, a free water safety event series, and a club model afterschool program. Prior to that, Kim served for three years as the Sports Director at the Y. In that capacity, she created both Adaptive and Inclusion sports programming for children and young adults with diverse abilities. In addition, Kim expanded the menu of sports offerings to include lacrosse (girls and boys), girls basketball, and pickleball, to name a few. She oversees the sports, aquatics, wellness, child care and creative arts departments.

A dynamic and effective collaborator, Kim has introduced partnerships with many local organizations while working at the West Suburban YMCA, including the Special Olympics, Second Step, Boston College, Jr. NBA, Deafinitely Dance Program, and many others.

Kim holds a BA from the College of the Holy Cross, an MA from Tufts University, and a JD from Suffolk University Law School. Prior to working at the West Suburban YMCA, she spent 13 years as an attorney at the firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glosvsky and Popeo P.C. A coach at heart, she also founded and operated a very successful club basketball program for several years.

Laura Snow

Vice President of Human Resources & Administration

lauras@wsymca.org

Laura joined the West Suburban Y Team in 2008, bringing with her a broad range of professional knowledge that includes international and domestic work experience. As the Vice President of Human Resources, Laura leads Human Resources practices and objectives that provide an employee-oriented; high-performance culture that emphasizes inclusion, empowerment, quality, productivity and standards; goal attainment and the recruitment and ongoing development of a superior and diverse workforce. She oversees the development and implementation of talent management/human resources policies, as well as plans and services including recruitment and onboarding, legal compliance, employee benefits, compensation, employee relations, diversity, equity and inclusion, employment practices and procedures, and employee communications and events.

Andrea Osterloh

Human Resources Associate

andreao@wsymca.org

Andrea (Andi) joined the Y community as the Human Resources Associate in Fall of 2018. She holds her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Language and Literature from the University of New Hampshire and worked for several years in aquatics safety and management before making the transition to recruiting and employee engagement. Before coming to the Y, she spent four years in the Newton Public Schools as the Human Resources Assistant. Andi is passionate about working for an organization that makes a difference in the lives of others and approaches her role with empathy and the drive to make a positive impact. When she is not working at the Y, Andi enjoys reading, sailing, and spending time with her family and friends.  

Emily Flynn

Executive Assistant

emilyf@wsymca.org

Emily joined the Y in the fall of 2018 as Executive Assistant, providing clerical and high-level administrative support to the CEO, Board of Directors and the Senior Leadership Staff. She is an outgoing, friendly and positive presence at the Y, and she enjoys the outdoors, watching sports and practicing yoga in her free time. Prior to her arrival at the Y, Emily spent five years as the office manager for the women's basketball program at the University of Oklahoma. She earned her BA in sports management and MA in human development and family studies from the University of Connecticut, where she totaled six years working with the women's basketball team as a student manager and graduate assistant.

Finance

Chris Meyers

Chief Financial Officer

chrism@wsymca.org

Chris joined the West Suburban YMCA team in September of 2015 looking for new challenges. He has over 30 years of YMCA work experience in various roles involving the Y movement. Prior to coming to the West Suburban YMCA, he held the position of Chief Financial Officer for the MetroWest YMCA in Framingham for 11 years. Chris is passionate about technology, constant systems improvements, enhancing the member experience and staff development. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from Northeastern University. Chris grew up in Brighton and as a teen would often play in basketball league games here at the Y. Today his free time is dedicated to family, cycling, hiking and weather permitting, having fun at the beach.

Vadim Melamud

Payroll & Accounts Payable Manager

vadimm@wsymca.org

Vadim joined the WSYMCA in September 2014 after working for Whole Foods Market as the Accounting Department Team Leader for eight years. He graduated from the University of Odessa, Ukraine with a degree in Economics and Newbury College in Brookline, MA with a degree in Accounting and Business Management. Vadim is a Professional Driving Instructor in his spare time and enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and helping his teenage daugther with her school life.

Kedar Gandbhir

Accountant

kedarg@wsymca.org

Kedar joined the WSYMCA in December 2021 after spending several years working in public accounting. He graduated from Ithaca College in 2014 with a degree in Exercise Science and completed his Masters in Accounting at Merrimack College in 2016. Kedar will provide support to the organization’s finance and business operations. He enjoys the outdoors, exercising, and spending time with family, and friends.

Development

Sara Pollock DeMedeiros

Vice President of Mission Advancement

sarapd@wsymca.org

Sara joined the West Suburban YMCA in 2017 after holding leadership roles with non-profit organizations serving youth and families across the state. Sara is responsible for the planning, coordination, and management of all aspects of the association’s fundraising efforts, and aims to foster a culture of social responsibility that helps keep our Y open to all. Sara received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University and Master of Education from Harvard University. She is a Newton native and is thrilled to be serving her community.

Kristina Carroll

Development Assistant

kristinac@wsymca.org

Kristina joined the WSYMCA team in November of 2021 as the Development Assistant. In this role, she provides administrative and logistical guidance to support the growth of fundraising efforts across the organization. She joined us with 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, and new business development throughout a variety of industries. She has a passion for helping others achieve success and thrives in contributing to the Y whose mission and values are in alignment with her own.

Andrea Newman

Development & Events Coordinator

andrean@wsymca.org

Andrea can be reached at x3097

Marketing & Communications

Katie Sopcik

Director of Marketing & Communications

katies@wsymca.org


Katie Sopcik joined the West Suburban YMCA in May 2022 as the Director of Marketing & Communications. Katie is responsible for creating and implementing activities associated with the annual Marketing & Communications Plan and tying all marketing activities back to organizational goals for membership, camp, programs, and mission advancement. Katie brings over fourteen years of experience in marketing, communications, and business development for nonprofit organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from the University of Florida, with a Minor in Business Administration. 

Erin Whitten

Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications

erinw@wsymca.org

Erin Whitten has joined us in 2021 as the new Assistant Director of Marketing and Communcations, with a focus in digital marketing & social media!  Erin has numerous years of experience in web-based applications, social networking, blogging and online advertising.  Her specialties include reporting basics, SEO strategy, copywriting, public speaking/presentations, social media marketing, branding, critical thinking, audio and video editing, web design, editorial skills, and media ethics.  She holds her Bachelor of Art degree in Communication and Media Studies from Arizona State University- Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Member Services and Wellness

Jane Carroll

Senior Director of Association Member Engagement & Wellness

janec@wsymca.org

Jane is a longtime staff member at the West Suburban YMCA, getting her start as the Director of Health and Wellness. In June of 2022, she was promoted to Senior Director of Association Member Engagement and Wellness. She's responsible for the oversight and management of Membership/Welcome Center and Health & Wellness departments at both the Church Street and Wells Ave locations. During her tenure at the Y, Jane has transformed the health and wellness department. She's implemented several impactful community programs such as LIVESTRONG at the YMCA and Y Empower for young girls. She's vastly expanded and diversified the group exercise schedule and fitness programming, introducing countless new offerings such as Zumba, Barre, HIIT, youth fitness programs, and TRX. Jane is a results-driven leader, who in five years grew the wellness department's revenue by over $200,000 in personal training alone. Jane has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics and a Master of Science Degree in Exercise Science and Physical Education from University of Rhode Island. She's a firm believer that being healthy and fit is a lifestyle that consists of a balanced combination of good nutrition and regular exercise. She loves to personal train and teach group exercise classes, while building meaningful relationships with our members and community.

 

Stephanie Sobieraj

Membership Coordinator

stephanies@wsymca.org

Stephanie began working in the Y's Membership Department in late 2016 and in October 2019 she was promoted to the full time Membership Coordinator position. Stephanie is a familiar face at the front desk, providing excellent customer service for members, guests, volunteers, and fellow employees. In her role as Membership Coordinator, she is focused on member relations including retention, engagement, outreach, and special events. When she's not working, you can frequently find her on the fitness floor or in a TRX class at the Y. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from Lake Forest College.

Raymond Tejeda

Member Service Coordinator

raymondt@wsymca.org

Raymond Tejeda (Ray)  joined the WSYMCA team in March of 2022 as a Membership Representative. 6 months later in September of 2022 he is now the new Member Service Coordinator. His parents immigrated from the Dominican Republic, but he was born and raised in the beautiful city of Boston MA. As the oldest sibling, a Spanish speaker and the first in his family to graduate from college he attended the University of Massachusetts Boston with a degree in Political Science. After graduating in 2019 he was a teacher until June of 2022 and ended his year of teaching in the Newton Public School system. His interests vary from video games, anime/manga to reading books, working out and traveling. Although he misses being in the classroom, he truly fell in love with the community here in Newton and plans to uphold our mission statement here as much as possible in his new role.  

Michelle Gagne-Borque

Health & Wellness Director

michelleg@wsymca.org

Michelle has been on our Y team in a part-time capacity since March of 2017 as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor.  Michelle enjoys working with people of all ages and likes to infuse her solid base of yoga practice with cardio and strength training, a method she titles ‘Yoga Strength Fitness’.  She has years of experience designing classes and personal training sessions that are safe and effective for every BODY, while also demonstrating a thorough understanding of how to connect with her clients in a meaningful way.  If you have crossed paths with her, you have seen how her positive attitude inspires others to be happy and live a healthy lifestyle.  Michelle’s past experience includes managing a Yoga & Wellness Center in Seattle, WA where she was responsible for marketing and communications, the daily operations and facility, program creation and managing/supervising a team of people.  She is a Certified Personal Trainer through NASM, a Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist and Certified Group Exercise Instructor through ACE, as well as a Certified Body Pump Instructor through Les Mills. 

Aquatics

Kelly Barker

Director of Association Aquatics

kellyb@wsymca.org

Kelly started working at the WSYMCA in April of 2014 when she was hired as Assistant Director of Aquatics. In June of 2022, Kelly was promoted to Director of Association Aquatics, responisble for the Aquatics programming at both Church Street and Wells Ave locations.  She is passionate about teaching life saving skills to youth and adults alike, as well as coaching swim teams. Kelly has also worked determinedly over the years to build upon the Y's adaptive swim programs.

She has been a lifeguard and swim instructor for 17 years. Kelly has been certified under USA Swim for over 13 years and has been a lifeguarding Instructor for 5 years. Kelly started playing in her grandparent’s backyard pool as a baby and has been swimming ever since. She started swimming on her local town team at 8-years-old and started on a club swim team at age 10. Kelly continued swimming competitively through high school, but had to stop in college due to a knee injury. As soon as she was old enough she began working as a lifeguard and swim instructor at her local recreation department, where she stayed until she joined the Y's team. When she is not working at the Y, Kelly enjoys spending time with my family, traveling and going to the beach.

Jack Hegarty

Aquatics Coordinator

jackh@wsymca.org

Jack started lifeguarding at the WSY in June of 2022. In August of 2022 Jack was promoted to Aquatics Coordinator. Jack is energetic and very excited to meet new members and staff any chance he gets. Jack has 4 years of aquatics experience as a Swim Instructor and Lifeguard. He is eager to bring his knowledge and experience to the table as well as learn as much as the YMCA can offer!

Colin Spensley

Lifeguard Manager

colins@wsymca.org

Colin started lifeguarding at the WSYMCA in December of 2015. He has been the regular weekday opener since January of 2016. In June of 2021, Colin became certified to teach Lifeguarding, and in August of 2021 was promoted to Lifeguard Manager. Colin is looking forward to training the next generation of Lifeguards.

Colin first became certified as a lifeguard back in 1999. He then spent several summers lifeguarding at two camps in Pittsford, Vermont, which is also where he grew up! Colin has an Associates degree in Culinary Arts and a bachelor’s degree in American Studies. In his free time Colin likes to spend time both at home and outdoors that include hiking and of course swimming! 

Camping Services

Keri Wood

Director of Camping Operations

keriw@wsymca.org

Keri joined the YMCA movement as a high school student working in summer camp and afterschool programs with the Y of Metro North. She began her professional career with the Y of Greater Boston where she served in a variety of capacities within the realm youth development, most recently as the Director of Youth and Family Services. Keri joined the West Suburban team in March of 2015 as the Director of Operations for the Camping Services department. She has a breadth of knowledge of governmental agencies and compliance organizations including the Department of Public Health, Department of Public Safety and Department of Labor as well as Early Education Care and the American Camping Association. 

Stephan Lockney

Camp Frank A. Day Director

stephanl@wsymca.org

Stephan joined the team here at the West Suburban YMCA in December 2017 after 23 years working for the YMCA of Central Massachusetts. As a career YMCA camping professional, Stephan believes that summer camp offers a unique chance for children to build social and emotional skills that help them mature into thriving young adults. He has a passion for training peers in the industry in staff training, recruitment, retention, motivation along with child development and child protection. His past work in Central Massachusetts at a camp serving the special needs populations was recognized by the State of Massachuetts as a Distinguished Program. He works to continue that inclusive-based work with the West Suburban YMCA and Camp Frank A Day. One thing that excites Stephan about residential camp is creating and participating in traditions and programs that campers enjoy for years to come.

Kaitlin McCarthy

Camp Chickami Director

kaitlinm@wsymca.org

Kaitlin joined the West Suburban YMCA team in October 2019 as the Out of School Time Director, and in August 2021 she was promoted to Director of Preschool and Family Services. She returned in May 2022 as the Camp Chickami Director. Kaitlin's previous positions with the Boy Scouts of America and Camp Resolute demonstrate her commitment to youth development. Kaitlin is passionate about providing quality programs to children and creating an environment where they can grow and thrive. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Champlain College.

Marie Minardi

Camping Services Registrar / Office Manager

mariem@wsymca.org

Marie left a successful position with a private company to pursue a career that would employ her passion for supporting youth and families along with her strong background in office management. As our Camping Services Registrar, she is the main point of contact for all camp registration needs. Marie holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a minor in Business Management from Franklin Pierce University.

Child Care

Heather Porder

Director of Preschool & Family Services

heatherp@wsymca.org

Heather Porder has joined the WSYMCA family as our new Preschool and Family Services Director.  In this role, Heather will lead the Preschool, Out-of-School and Kids’ Corner programs in administering and delivering high quality curriculum in the areas of child care and youth development. Heather brings over twenty years of experience to the WSYMCA with her extensive knowledge of early childhood development & growth.  She is committed to genuine relationship building and delivering high-quality member services and is thrilled to apply her passion and strong knowledge of early childhood and school age licensed programs to the WSYMC

Seamus Bruno

Out-of-School Time Director

seamusb@wsymca.org

Seamus has worked at the West Suburban YMCA in many capacities since September 2017, including work as a sports instructor, personal trainer, Out-of-School Time (OST) staff, and most recently as the Assistant Director of OST and Teen Programming. In September of 2021 he was promoted to Out-of-School Time Director. In addition to working at the Y, Seamus has experience working with youth at a summer camp and coaching AAU basketball. Seamus holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Stonehill College. 

Joe LaMarca

Coordinator

Joe LaMarca is joining the WSYMCA family as our new full-time employee working in both camp during the summer and childcare (OST and Kids’ Corner) during the school year.  He has experience working with youth starting in summer camps throughout high school back home in the Bronx in New York City.  Joe brings unique skill-sets and experience to the team, as he has worked with at-risk youth with a focus in therapeutic after-school experience, facilitating youth group programming and more.  He is trained and certified in Sexual Violence Advocacy.  His experience and skills include trauma informed care and outreach work with the community, as he worked as a youth advocate at The Second Step and REACH- Beyond Domestic Violence.  Joe holds his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Lasell University.  

Maura Sullivan

Lead Preschool Teacher

mauras@wsymca.org

Maura joined the West Suburban YMCA as Lead Preschool Teacher in April 2021. She brings with her knowledge and passion for working with children and families. Prior to this position Maura worked at Peabody Terrace Children’s Center in Cambridge for more than 20 years. She is committed to relationship building with parents and staff alike. Maura is an advocate for high quality childcare. She is always eager to collaborate with teachers as a supportive resource and mentor. Maura brings with her an extensive knowledge of child growth and development. She is thrilled to be a part of the WSYMCA's diverse and vibrant team.  

Venda Mercer

Lead Preschool Teacher

Venda rejoined the WSYMCA team as a lead preschool teacher in September 2021 after taking time off during the recent challenging years. Venda is passionate, creative, driven, caring, organized, patient, flexible and energetic teacher who is dedicated to creating and implementing play-based lesson plans filled with art & crafts, STEM & sensory activities, as well as great books and fun fine and gross motor skills activities. As educator Venda strives to meet the social, physical, intellectual, creative, cultural, and developmental needs and interests of all children, and to build strong relationships with parents and colleagues alike by maintaining open communication. Her biggest joy as an educator is to watch children’s curiosity, wonder and excitement when learning and exploring and the sparkle in their eyes when they realize “I did it!”

Venda was born and raised in the Czech Republic and came to the United States after graduating with a degree in Travel and Tourism from a college ARITA in Prague. During her exchange program she cared for 5 children of the host family she lived with while attending NIU and obtaining there her Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality administration and Hotel Management. Those five children and later Venda’s own two boys changed her career trajectory and brought her to her newly found passion - teaching. Venda received her Certificate in Early childhood education from UCLA Extension. Prior to teaching at the WSYMCA Venda taught at preschool in Ashland, MA for a few years. Outside her work you can find her at hockey arenas, soccer and lacrosse fields cheering on her boys. In her free time Venda loves staying active with her family and their dog Bodi, traveling, making photo books and spending summers with her family in Czech.

Joey So

Preschool Teacher

joeys@wsymca.org

Joey So joined the West Suburban YMCA preschool team in March of 2020. Joey is fluent in Chinese and studied Early Childhood Education at Urban College of Boston. She has been in the education field for 3 years. Before joining the Y, she worked at SEED Music and Art Center in Quincy, implementing creative arts lessons for children. She enjoys working with children and seeing them grow every day. Joey is passionate about supporting social-emotional learning and providing a nurturing environment for children to thrive. In her free time, she loves swimming and hiking. 

Sports

Joshua Downes

Director of Association Athletics

joshuad@wsymca.org

Josh joined the West Suburban YMCA in December of 2017 and has moved his way up in the organization, first serving as the Sports Coordinator, then as Assistant Director of Sports, and was promoted to the Director of Sports and Recreation role in August 2021.  In June 2022, Josh was promoted to Director of Association Athletics, responisble for the sport programming at both the Church Street and Wells Ave locations.  Josh is responsible for the planning, development, implementation, expansion and evaluation of youth and adult sport programs. He works hard to build impactful and meaningful relationship with members and program participants. Josh has a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Management from Springfield College, where he played Division III Basketball for four years.  He recently earned his Masters of Education with a Sports Management concentration frrom University of Texas at Austin.  His experience as a coach includes coaching high school varsity and junior varsity boys and girls basketball, as well as boys soccer. 

Mike Leavitt

Assistant Director of Sports and Recreation

michaell@wsymca.org

Mike joined the West Suburban YMCA in September of 2021. Working in the Sports Department, Mike coordinates sports leagues and implements youth sports programs. He strives to make a positive impact on today’s youth and does so leading by example. Mike has experience working in UMASS Lowell Athletics, as well as revamping the Merrimack College Club Sports Department. Mike holds a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Sport Management from Merrimack College.

Paige Willis

Sports Coordinator

paigew@wsymca.org

Paige recieved her BS in sport management at UMASS Amherst. She has been working with kids ever since she graduated, first being a lead site coordinator of a before and after school program with the Old Colony YMCA then becoming a Sports Coordinator and Coach for the Greater Boston YMCA. She has also been coaching for about 3 years. Paigewanted to work in this industry because sports were a big part of herlife growing up (she played soccer, basketball, tennis) and she wants to be able to help provide the opportunities that she had! 

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