Meet Our Staff | West Suburban YMCA


Meet our Staff

Jack Fucci

President and CEO

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.

Kim Benzan

Chief Operating Officer

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

Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Administration

Laura joined the West Suburban Y Team in 2008, bringing with her a broad range of professional knowledge that includes international work experience. As the Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Administration, 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

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/Development Associate

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.


Chris Meyers

Chief Financial Officer

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

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.


Sara Pollock DeMedeiros

Vice President of Mission Advancement

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

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

Andrea can be reached at x3097

Marketing & Communications

Katie Sopcik

Director of Marketing & Communications

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

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

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.


Karen Partanen

Senior Director of Association Programming

Karen joined the WSYMCA team in November 2022 as the Senior Director of Association Programming.  She is responsible for the oversight and management of Aquatics, Sports & Childcare at both the Church Street and Wells Ave locations, as well as the oversight of Newton Corner Place at Church Street.  Karen comes with a diversified background in aquatics, sports and childcare from directing municipal recreation departments in South Florida, the North Shore and the MetroWest.  Her work within local municipalities provides her with extensive experience partnering with local nonprofits throughout various types of communities.  Karen’s work has won her an award from Aquatics International as Best Family Aquatic Center, she has opened a teen center from the ground up, organized regional sports tournaments and looking forward to providing innovative programming ideas to the WSYMCA. Karen has a strong commitment to DE&I and has worked locally with GLAD, Resolve New England, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Government Alliance on Race & Equity and the Service Club of Andover.  In her spare time you can find Karen spending time with her children and fiancé’ at the beach, hiking, traveling, watching sporting events and looking for the next new adventure. 

Paige Nitardy

Membership Director- Church St

Paige joined our team as Membership Director, Church Street in December 2022.  In this role, Paige works to ensure successful operation of the Membership Department including staff supervision and development, superior customer service, community relations, collaborations, budgeting and financial results.  She works to implement new procedures and methods to achieve strategic membership goals for the Association.  In addition, she leads recruitment efforts of new members and retention of existing members.  Paige joined us with having a variety of YMCA work experience, most recently being the Aquatics Director at the Charlestown YMCA.  Prior to that role, she worked for Greater Boston at the Wang YMCA as the Associate Membership Director.  Other roles at the Y have included Lifeguard, Head Lifeguard, Assistant Camp Director, Membership Desk Representative and Swim Instructor. Paige is no stranger to the YMCA, as she grew up attending Y programs and camps.  

Jordan Cloutier

Director of Membership - Wells Ave

Jordan joins us with operations and supervisory experience from a variety of different gyms, including the Operations Manager of LA Fitness and Assistant Manager of Orangetheory Fitness.  He is no stranger to the fitness world, as he also has sales experience as an account manager at Gym Source.  Jordan has successfully maximized sales with excellent customer service, product knowledge and on-going post-sale support.  His outgoing personality enables him to build authentic relationships with clients/members, as well as colleagues.  Jordan grew up going to the Capital District YMCA in Troy, NY.  He holds his Bachelor of Art degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Psychology, Criminal Justice and Sport Management from Mt. Ida College where he was also a student-athlete. We are excited to have him join our team!  

Michelle Gagne-Borque

Health & Wellness Director

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. 

Nikita Karasik

Health & Wellness Director - Wells Ave

Nikita has a strong passion for fitness and wellness.  He earned his Master of Science degree in Exercise Science from Merrimack College and a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Salem State University.  He holds his Personal Trainer certification and has experience developing diverse programming for clients at the CrossFit B&S in Salem, MA.  Nikita also has worked with Harvard Athletics, where he managed the development of exercise programs for multiple sports teams.  In addition, Nikita has experience as a manager at GNC, where he consistently met or surpassed sales numbers each month.  He truly appreciates how the Y is a community organization and the impact our programming can have on so many people.  Fun fact:  Nikita grew up going to the Marblehead YMCA!

Stephanie Sobieraj

Member Systems & Financial Aid Manager

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. 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

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.  

Ronald Cohen

Member Services Coordinator

Ron was recently promoted to Member Services Coordinator.  He is no stranger to our Y, as he has been a member of the WSY community for many years.  Upon retirement from the Federal Government after 41 years in September 2018, and after spending several months cleaning out his garage and attic, Ron began his second career at the Y as a Member Services Representative.  Since then, Ron has become a familiar and welcoming face at the membership desk in the early weekday morning hours.  Although he misses sleeping late in the mornings, his loss of sleep is more than made up for by the many new friends he has made at the Y.  Ron is looking forward to working at the Y for many more years (or until his garage and attic need cleaning out again. 


Kelly Barker

Director of Association Aquatics

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.

Colin Spensley

Lifeguard Manager

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

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. 

Gus Noriega

Camp Frank A. Day Director

Gus started his camping career in 2011 as a summer counselor at YMCA Camp Roger in Utah. He quickly grew a love for camping and programing. Orignally from the Massachusettes. He moved to Utah and became there Summer Camp Director in 2015. Since then he has lived at Ymca Camp Sequoia Lake in California as thier Youth Prgram Director over seeing a skate boarding camp and a resiential camp. Then Ymca Camp Kern in Ohio as their Summer Camp Director. He has now comback to his home state with his wife and 2 boys. He is excited to be here and ready for all that YMCA Camp Frank A. Day has to offer. Gus belives that camp has the power to change the world and that every child should have the opetunity to expeiracne the magic of camp!

Natalia Martinez

Camp Chickami Director

Natalia is a passionate educator who has spent her career doing work that supports and builds communities. She has over ten years of experience in staff management, program development and administration. She started her work supporting youth and families working with the Boston Public School district in different capacities. She has also worked at the Cambridge Public Health Department and various non-profits who service and support children and families.  Natalia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Emmanuel College. She loves the outdoors and being in connection with nature.

Marie Minardi

Camp/Childcare Registrar & Community Events Manager

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 Camp/Childcare Registrar, she is the main point of contact for all camp and childcare 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

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

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. 

Jason Gutu

Family Services Administrator/Group Leader

Jason recently joined the West Suburban YMCA as the Family Services Administrator & Group Leader in February 2023. With a background in youth development, outdoors education, and social justice, he brings valuable experience to his new role. Previously, Jason founded an outdoors education program for urban youth dealing with traumatic stress and provided consultation to other non-profits aiming to engage young people in outdoor activities. He also participated in the Massachusetts Child Trauma Project, working to improve outcomes for children under the care of the Department of Child and Family Services. Jason holds a BA in Health and Human Behavior, which he designed as an individual major at Umass Boston. Committed to the YMCA's mission of youth development for all, he will contribute to creating fun, enriching, and safe Out-Of-School programs for families at the West Suburban Y. While he doesn't have much spare time due to his responsibilities as a parent to his two young children, Jason embraces the busy and fulfilling nature of his life.

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 an 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 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 of 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.

Robin McPhail

Lead Teacher, Preschool

Robin joined the Y in December 2022 as our afternoon lead teacher in the preschool program. She holds a Bachelors degree in political science/psychology abd comes to the Y with over 14 years experience in the childcare field. She is a highly motivated, enthusiastic educator who is committed to creating and maintaining a classroom atmosphere  that is stimulating  and encouraging  to children while creating lesson plans, activities and projects designed to promote physical, intellectual and social development for children. She is an avid sports enthuist who enjoys football, basketball, UFC martisl arts, working out, swimming and going on vacation to exotics places. 


Joshua Downes

Director of Association Athletics

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. 

Paige Willis

Assistant Director of Sports and Recreation

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! 


Wildreen Montano

Director of Facilities

Wildreen has ten years of experience in managing facilities, as his previous job was at the Bridge House in Framingham, where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations regarding the infrastructure and grounds.  Prior to managing facilities, Wil worked as an EMT where he performed routine assessments and basic trauma support in 911 situations.  He is familiar with YMCAs, as he and his family have been a member of the MetroWest YMCA, where his children participate in programs, camps and swimming.  

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Mission & Vision