CEO @ YMCA - Claryville, NY

Job Overview

2 months ago


YMCA - Claryville, NY

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

The Frost Valley has a commitment to creating a culture of safety.

Position Description and Board Expectations:

Frost Valley YMCA seeks a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to succeed its long-time CEO. The new leader has much to build on in a new era, thanks to stable leadership, rapid growth, and highly regarded summer and year-round camping programs. The new CEO will join a talented, committed and experienced leadership team, a vibrant, diverse staff, thriving programs, and an engaged and supportive volunteer community. The CEO currently supervises a management team of six that oversees 100 FT and 260 seasonal staff, and reports to the Board of Trustees.

We seek an empathetic and effective leader with at least 10 years of broad management experience, preferably with a background in overnight camping and youth programming, and who has been responsible for large nonprofit budgets. We seek a diverse pool of candidates and welcome executives with strong nonprofit experience outside of the camping sector. The ideal CEO must have demonstrated success in fiscal management, business development, board and volunteer development, community relations, staff management, and fund raising and have a passion for and commitment to programs that serve children and the natural environment.

The successful CEO must be committed to the mission of the YMCA and uphold its values and ethics, as well as be a persuasive spokesperson on its behalf. To summarize, we seek a leader with the insight and skill to effectively lead a nonprofit, youth camping, and environmental education organization into a new era of inclusive, responsible, and sustainable growth.

The position is located in the Catskill Mountains in New York State and full-time residency is strongly preferred.

Frost Valley YMCA Association Facts:

Our Mission: Frost Valley YMCA is a values-driven organization that fosters youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility through outdoor educational and recreational programs for all. Our programs serve diverse populations, and emphasize eight core values: Caring, Community, Diversity, Honesty, Inclusiveness, Respect, Responsibility, and Stewardship.

Founded as Camp Wawayanda in 1901, Frost Valley continues after more than a century to offer its renowned overnight summer camp, praised and highly evaluated by children and families alike. Over the decades the summer program has added Adventure Trips, equestrian camps, a farm camp, day camp, and family camp. Located on 5,500 acres across two valleys (along the West and East Branches of the Neversink River, straddled by Wildcat Mountain), the site is mostly forested, camp facilities having been built or renovated on centrally located parcels in each valley: dining halls, cabins arrayed as “villages,” lodges, yurts, platform tents, a laundry, composting facility, wellness center, dialysis unit, 150-person theater, conference halls, indoor chapel, staff residences, athletic courts, an Adventure Trip center, a dedicated house for staff recreation, and a four-floor 1916 stone mansion built by the owner of the estate from whose family the camp purchased the site when moving Wawayanda from New Jersey to New York State in 1957.

The Adventure Program sponsors two-week trips offering pre-teens and teens the opportunity to develop independence and resilience amidst outdoor wilderness excursions in New York and surrounding states that include backpacking, rock climbing, water adventures, and service trips which promote volunteerism for youth. Situated on a 515-acre farm in our East Neversink River Valley, Frost Valley’s Educational Farm gives campers first-hand experience raising livestock and tending to vegetables and fruit they will enjoy in the camp’s farm-to-table dining room. The greenhouse, orchard, and garden located in main camp give campers in our traditional resident camps opportunities to learn where their food comes from.

Our resident summer camp program puts inclusion and compassion at the center of every activity. Among Frost Valley’s most innovative and effective programs: Mainstreaming at Camp (“MAC”), founded 1983, for neurodiverse children and teens; and a “Kidney Camp,” founded 1975, in partnership with the Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation and Montefiore Hospital for children requiring dialysis treatment or pre- and post-transplant care. Extensive financial aid enables children to come to camp from families that could not otherwise afford the fees.

Frost Valley’s large Day Camp program serves children from the local community and second homeowners and includes most of the same activities, and all of the emphasis on core values, of traditional overnight camp in a non-residential setting.

Most midweeks between September and June, Frost Valley hosts school children and their teachers from schools in the tri-state (New York, Connecticut, New Jersey) region for environmental education and team-building programs that foster stronger relationships with nature and each other. On weekends throughout the non-summer months, family groups, Scout troops, Y Guides, retreats organized by non-profit partners and neighborhood associations also flock in large numbers to Frost Valley for team-building, games, hiking, cross-country skiing, campfires, and outdoor activities. Frost Valley is also home to a Model Forest, a 672-panel solar array, raptor center, a state-of-the-art recycling and composting center, a maple sugaring house, and is an active and crucial part of the New York City Watershed.

Families come to Frost Valley year after year, some associated with us for as long as half a century, to unplug from technology and reconnect with each other, staying for a weekend or through one of our week-long family camps. Many of these families, during the years when their children are of age, also enroll in our summer camp programs.

Frost Valley abounds with outdoor training and recreation opportunities, including trainings at our East Valley Ranch such as our Wilderness First Responder Courses, Certified Horsemanship Association Certification Courses, hunting (through membership), 3D archery, disc golf, cross-country skiing along many miles of groomed trails, and fly-fishing excursions.

The Tokyo-Frost Valley YMCA Partnership (founded 1979) provides a safe space for Japanese and Japanese-American youth and families to connect with peers in a shared language and culture throughout the year during family weekends and ski camps and particularly during two-week summer camp sessions. Forming partnerships has been vital to Frost Valley’s realization of its mission. For five decades, Frost Valley has partnered with community organizations in cities such as Newark, New Jersey, enabling families associated with those organizations to send their children to summer camp.

Staff: There are 100 FT year-round staff and approximately 10 PT. In addition, there are 460 seasonal staff, about 125 of which are International.

Financial: Frost Valley YMCA Camp is a year-round $15M business (pre-Covid) that generates the majority of its revenue through its renowned summer camp programs. Recent events (including the pandemic) have stressed the camp financially, but there are excellent opportunities to build, expand and diversify its programming and offerings, in turn creating robust financial growth.

Advantages to Area:

The Catskill Mountains lie in southeastern New York State just two hours from New York City. The area is known for the 600,000 acre Catskill Park , with its rich wildlife and hiking trails, and ski resorts including Hunter Mountain and Belleayre Mountain. Sites like Kaaterskill Falls, Giant’s Ledge, and Sunset Rock inspired the 19th-century landscape painters of the Hudson River School.

In recent years, the Catskills and Hudson Valley region has exploded as a popular destination for vacation or relocation from New York City. New restaurants, bars, shops, breweries, and attractions have opened up, helping to create a vibrant, multicultural, community while retaining a consistent sense of Catskill charm in every riverside town, mountain village, or rural hamlet.

World-class dining destinations such as Peekamoose Restaurant and Prospect, high-quality casual eateries such as Harana Market and the Phoenicia Diner, and destination breweries such as West Kill Brewing and Woodstock Brewing are all just a short drive from Camp.

The local school district is the Tri-Valley Central School District, located in Grahamsville, NY, which provides a pre-K through 12th grade education.

Other Sites for Information:


Candidate Requirements:

  • Four-year college degree (BA/BS) in Business Management, Finance, Public Administration, Communications, Marketing, Social Work or Environmental Management or equivalent experience required. A Master’s degree in community organization, public or business administration, or not-for-profit management or a related field is a plus.
  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible management/executive experience in the profit or not-for-profit sector; experience with Y-USA or the camping sector welcome but not required.
  • Demonstrated experience in creating and implementing strategic plans, including developing business, facility and staffing plans to advance strategic goals.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop effective and diverse work teams and build consensus within an organization and community.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement fundraising strategies.
  • Prior experience working with a non-profit board, including board development and governance.
  • Demonstrated, effective internal and external stakeholder communication skills required.
  • Demonstrated ability to evaluate risk and exercise good and timely judgments in complex situations.
  • Demonstrated ability for strong communication and influencing skills along with public speaking and writing.
  • Ability to travel regionally and nationally, and on occasion, internationally.
  • A current valid driver’s license and good driving record is required.

Essential Functions/Physical Requirements:

  • Ordinary ambulatory skills and mobility sufficient to visit locations at Frost Valley.
  • Ability to stand, walk and manipulate (lift, carry, move) light to medium weight-objects of up to 20 pounds.
  • May include sitting for long periods of time, driving a vehicle and working under challenging conditions and because of the nature of the role, this role may be on 24-hour call.
Essential Functions

Key Responsibilities:

The ideal candidate will effectively navigate and manage change quickly and appropriately while remaining focused on delivering our mission to its members and the community. They will be a transformational leader, given to innovation, intellectual curiosity and reimagining and expanding Frost Valley’s role in the communities we serve. The Board of Trustees believes its new CEO should be an experienced leader who has the background and qualities that will permit them to achieve excellence in the following roles:

1.Strategic Vision, Leadership, & Operational Excellence

a.Strategic Vision and Leadership:

i.Lead periodic strategic planning processes with staff and board, and direct implementation and execution.

ii.Provide internal and external inspirational, visible leadership to all constituents (including local community), exemplifying Frost Valley’s eight core values: which are Caring, Community, Diversity, Honesty, Inclusiveness, Respect, Responsibility, and Stewardship.


i.Nurture a welcoming, equitable, transparent, safe, and positive culture for employees, campers, volunteers, and visitors.

ii.Ensure delivery of high-quality programing and services for all guests.

iii.Demonstrate strong engagement and leadership in internal operations (staff management, financial health, program management).

iv.Develop and steward external relationships with partners, donors, visitors, and campers, as well as with community members, state and local officials, and community organizations.

v.Hire, train, and retain a competent, diverse, and qualified staff while creating a positive, inclusive, and equitable work culture.

vi.Facilitate cross-departmental collaboration and communication throughout the organization.

vii.Cultivate strong and transparent working relationships with board members.

2.Financial Performance and Viability

a.Demonstrate sound fiscal management that maintains a positive financial position and operates within approved budgets while ensuring maximum resource utilization.

b.Ensure that proper financial controls are in place to maximize the efficient use of the organization’s resources in the pursuit of its mission.

c.Maintain and nurture key existing client relationships and revenue streams and develop new ones.


a.Demonstrate strategic leadership of and active participation in all fundraising efforts, including annual giving, capital campaigns, planned giving, and endowment development.

b.Build a “culture of philanthropy” among Frost Valley constituents to support its mission.

c.Build on our existing success in fundraising by stewarding existing donor relationships and identifying new individual and institutional donor, including major donors.

d.Leverage staff, board, alumni, and other stakeholders to aid in fundraising.


a.General Governance of the Organization:

i.Ensure compliance with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations as well as certifications with camping and YMCA bodies (i.e., ACA, YMCA of the USA, and others).

b.Board Relations:

i.Responsible for timely, accurate, and effective communication with board members, including through formal reports.

ii.Lead discussions with the board on both current and future issues of generative and strategic importance.

iii.Participate with the board in identifying, cultivating, and recruiting qualified, engaged, and diverse prospective board members.


a.Of mission

i.Protect the values of Frost Valley with respect and honor for the past and devise a relevant plan for the future that emphasizes and highlights diversity, equity, and inclusion.

ii.Demonstrate a commitment to serving children and families with special needs, including ensuring access for neurodiverse and differently-abled guests.

b.Of resources

i.Protect and steward our environmental resources, enhancing sustainable practices around food, energy, and land use in alignment with our core values.

ii.Maintain and improve our facilities and grounds to support program needs and our mission.

Salary Range: $165,000 - $195,000


Health Insurance:

  • Employees are eligible for health insurance the 1st day of the month 60 days from the date they are hired. Health, dental and vision are a 50/50 contribution (50% employee/50% Frost Valley).
  • Frost Valley provides HRA ($6,750 individual plan/$13,500 family plan) per year. Frost Valley employees have zero out of pocket deductible for in-network providers.
  • All Frost Valley staff (inclusive of PT/seasonal staff) are covered by 1800MD (telehealth plan). This plan is covered 100% by Frost Valley.

Vacation/Paid Time Off (PTO):

35 paid days off plus 3 holidays (Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day)

Sick Time:

40 sick hours per calendar year


  • We offer a 403b plan for employees to contribute either a percentage or a flat amount per pay period towards their retirement savings. Enrollment is optional and the employee is fully vested in the amounts allocated.
  • After 2 years of qualifying employment, employees are mandated to contribute 3% of earnings to a YMCA Retirement Plan, and Frost Valley will match and contribute an additional 9%.
  • Prior qualifying tenure with a participating YMCA will be recognized (having worked a minimum of 1000 hours per year for 2 years), if applicable. The employee is required to contribute 3% into the Y Retirement Plan upon hire. Frost Valley contributes an additional 9%.

Child Care:

  • Staff receive 50% discount for FV camping/childcare programs.
  • At no cost to the employee, we offer onsite day care services at Little Rainbows. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm. Children as young as 6 weeks old to school aged. Availability is based on enrollment.

Additional Benefits:

  • Group Life/Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) is covered 100% by Frost Valley (benefit = 1x annual salary).
  • Optional Life Insurance is available to employees' spouse and dependent children for $2.00 per month.
  • Employees can enroll in Flexible Spending Accounts each plan year; two options are available - Health and Dependent Care.
  • AFLAC offers Voluntary additional insurances (employee responsible 100% for premium).
  • Employee Assistance Program through Total Care is offered to all employees at no cost.
  • Pet Insurance is additional benefit (employee responsible for 100% of premium).
  • Housing on premises is required and will be provided.

Target Dates for the Search Process

Resumes accepted through: November 30, 2022

Preliminary interviews scheduled: December 19, 2022

Final interviews: January 14, 2023

CEO selection made: Week of January 16, 2023

New CEO on board (anticipated): March 1, 2023

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 about this CEO search process may be directed to Eric Williams, Senior Director, CEO Search, YMCA of the USA ( [email protected] ).

Questions about this particular YMCA may be directed to Mary Kay Polston, CFRE, Director of Member Advancement Alliance of New York State YMCAs ( [email protected] ).

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