New YMCA of Greater Syracuse CEO talks future plans

Mike Brown says one focus will be on updating aging facilities like Downtown Y

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - The new CEO for the YMCA of Greater Syracuse is settling into his new job after nearly four months and talking about his plans for the future of the non-profit.

Mike Brown has been with other YMCA's around the country for about the past 25 years.

Brown comes to Syracuse from Rockford, Illinois to take over the Syracuse non-profit with a $24 million budget employing nearly 1,200 employees.

"One of the tough decisions that has to be made is do we renovate the Downtown YMCA or do we relocate the Downtown YMCA, so that's going to be a big decision we're going to have to make and really to raise the dollars, we're talking about $20-million dollars."  Brown tells NewsChannel 9.

While the East Area Y in Fayetteville is much newer than the Downtown Y, Brown says its still one of the branches they'll look very closely at how to best improve it.

Brown says, "Our job is to strengthen community through our programs and services, and we give well over $2 million in financial assistance and a lot of people just don't know I'm apart of something bigger than my gym or my swim."

Brown succeeds Hal Welsh, who not only put the YMCA of Greater Syracuse back on solid financial ground but also helped it grow.

He says the mission will likely stay the same but the strategy may start to change, focusing on updating aging facilities and also looking at other areas needing a YMCA presence with all its various services and programs.

"And we really believe that we're there for the whole family.  We're a cause driven organization that services people regardless of their ability to pay."  Brown says.

He expects it will take about 18-months to get a full assessment of the needs and specific projects for the YMCA of Greater Syracuse and also for a fundraising campaign to support them.

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