Port Huron, MI — The YMCA of the Blue Water Area President and Chief Executive Officer, Denise Brooks, announced her decision to retire after more than 11 years with the YMCA of the Blue Water Area, effective December 31, 2020.
“Denise is recognized as an outstanding, dedicated and community-focused executive leader. She successfully guided the Y though some of its most difficult times, and her leadership efforts helped transform the lives of those who need our Y the most,” said YMCA Board Chairman and Chief Volunteer Officer, Geof Kusch. “I am happy for Denise that she can take this next step, looking back at a successful career here in Port Huron, making a difference in the lives of thousands of people.”
Under Brooks’ leadership, the YMCA of the Blue Water Area:
- Grew to serve more than 1 out of every 8 people in St. Clair and Sanilac counties
- Implemented chronic disease management programs like LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA, the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program®, and Enhance® Fitness
- Expanded the YMCA’s drowning prevention efforts to not only include swim lessons but Safety Around Water, a free program, and taking it on the road to pools throughout the area
- Completed a $850,000+ PACE project focused on energy savings improvements to the facility
- Restored financial viability in the wake of the 2008-2010 recession
- Created partnerships with area schools and other organizations to better serve our community
“I am proud and thankful to have served this YMCA since 2009 and this community most of my life,” Brooks said. “I’ve been honored to build relationships with so many talented and committed volunteers, staff, donors and community partners, who have guided and encouraged me and all of our Y leaders. Here in Port Huron, they’ve strengthened the very foundation of this community by bringing incredible programs and services to so many.”
Brooks will retire at the end of the year. The YMCA Board will partner with the YMCA of the USA to conduct a nationwide search for the the new President and CEO.