Executive Committee, 2022-2026

The World YMCA Executive Committee is its Board. The first such Committee met in 1858. Reporting to the World Council, it monitors the work, finances and personnel of the World YMCA.

Read the World YMCA Constitution and By-Laws

Officers & Secretary General

Soheila Hayek

Soheila Y. Hayek

President

Lebanon

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Soheila Y. Hayek

President

Lebanon

Soheila Hayek

Portrait

Extract from candidate profiles for the elections to the World YMCA Executive Committee of July 2022

Ms. Soheila Hayek has extensive experience with non-profit organizations, both as a volunteer and in management, including World YMCA (4 years), YMCA Lebanon (10 years), Director of The Goguikian Foundation, an NGO engaged in Youth Empowerment (12 years), and others. She has well-rounded competencies in Policymaking, Strategic Planning, Governance, Advocacy, Budgeting, Financial Management and Fundraising.

Soheila is confident that her years of leadership in senior management inspiring teams of volunteers as well as paid staff to achieve their very best, her ease with public speaking, advocacy and relationship-building, give her the confidence that she would be well suited to exercise the duties of President.

Motivation

Our world is changing rapidly. New parameters are emerging, which today’s youth understand intuitively. They are best placed to build a better future and will be the ones who will live in it. Empowering them and providing them with all the needed physical, mental, ethical, scientific, social, and leadership-related means is a pressing necessity. I have made that my career priority; and I believe that World YMCA can play a leading role in this regard.

Though officially a citizen of four countries, I see myself as a citizen of the world. I am conversant with nine languages and familiar with more cultures. I have lived and worked in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. This experience has taught me that, no matter our differences, we all face the same challenges and harbor the same hopes and aspirations, the same reasons that WE ALL BE ONE.

As a member of the Executive Committee for the last four years, I have witnessed this unity-of-purpose in action and gained valuable exposure to YMCAs work across the globe. I have been honored to serve on the Solidarity Fund Committee, responding to the most urgent needs of YMCAs affected by COVID and evaluating projects from their young members using the WHO's GYM fund. I was touched by how sincere and achievable these plans were and appreciated how vital it is to have access to funding.

At the YMCA of Lebanon, where I have now served on the Board for over ten years, including currently as Vice President of the Board, we manage projects worth around US$10 million and have a staff of 45. We no longer have gyms and swimming pools.

Instead, in response to the needs of our community, we deliver essential medications through more than 450 dispensaries to six million Lebanese citizens and Syrian refugees. We provide financial literacy, vocational training, and peacebuilding classes, and we work with microfinance providers to obtain funding for the creative ideas of young entrepreneurs. I am most proud of having convinced our organization to make it mandatory to elect at least one young person to the Board.

For twelve years, I led The Goguikian Foundation, an NGO with ten staff members, focused on Youth Empowerment. I worked hard to provide young people from underprivileged communities with education, growth, and leadership opportunities. Through a TED Talk-like initiative, I put young innovators together with investors. I implemented a municipal youth-led recycling program and helped place many of our scholarship recipients in government jobs and community-serving NGOs.In prior years, I led fundraising efforts for Fundo Unido (Mexico’s United Way affiliate), for the Chilterns Women's Club in the UK, and for my local church (St. Patrick’s, in Chatham, NJ).

I graduated in Industrial Psychology from the University of Houston and have a Master’s degree in Conference Management from the University of Westminster. My years in leadership positions have made me appreciate the dynamics of working in a volunteer environment and given me well-rounded competencies in policymaking, strategic planning, budgeting, and financial management. I aim to strive for greater collaboration among our member YMCAs and will give my full support to the Secretary-General to enhance our brand and our ability to fundraise.

I am a grandmother, a sailor, a swimmer, and a gardener. I love nature and want to safeguard the world I will be leaving behind for my grandchildren. I am a deeply spiritual woman who believes in the power and wisdom of God, and I trust that all my life's journey has prepared me to arrive at this point today, to run for the position of President

 

Ronald Yam

Ronald Tak Fai Yam

Deputy President

Hong Kong

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Ronald Tak Fai Yam

Deputy President

Hong Kong

Ronald Yam

Portrait

Extract from candidate profiles for the elections to the World YMCA Executive Committee of July 2022

Having served as the Treasurer in the World YMCA since 2018, it gives me great confidence and vision to dedicate myself further to serve as the President in the coming term in the World YMCA. In these two years, the pandemic had brought a detrimental effect to the operation of YMCAs globally. Praise to GOD for giving me and our Board members at the local YMCA the wisdom to rightly manage and adjust our investment portfolio to not just survive but to continue to grow sustainably and even substantially stronger in our financial strength and vitality, aiming to bring even more positive impacts to communities. On the world level, as the Treasurer, I have witnessed with active participation how World YMCA can assist the other YMCA movements globally to face the challenge and overcome difficulties.

I trust all agree that, apart from the mission and vision, a sound and sustainable financial standing together with good corporate governance are important issues in YMCA as we are the world’s oldest and largest youth-serving movement that works to bring tremendous positive social impact to the world. It has always been one of the crucial tasks for the World YMCA to continue strengthening our resources mobilization capacity and consolidate on the financials, so as to facilitate the YMCA movements as a whole in achieving the strategic plans.

I am a professionally trained accountant, with over 40 years of solid track record in the field of financial consulting and risk management. Being entrusted by various professional bodies and even government at both the local, regional and national levels, I have assumed different key positions either in managing or consulting roles as revealed in my biography. I am confident that my knowledge and experience are valuable assets for the YMCA movements in upholding a sustainable financial position as well as governance in the future development of World YMCA.

The biblical teaching: “To serve and not to be served” is the major driving force for my service at the YMCA over the past fifteen years. My stories have begun with the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong where I have been serving as a Director and the Honorary Treasurer ever since 2007. The experience has been transformational to somewhat a ‘Re-baptism’ for me. Along the path, I have been transforming from yet another policy volunteer with financial expertise into a passionate servant leader committing himself to the vision of enterprising our Movement’s corporate governance with sustainable financial management to finance all of our endeavours to serve our communities with Christian love, vitality and sophistication.

It is this mindset I have brought with me to serve passionately in the Hong Kong YMCA Council, Asia & Pacific Alliance of YMCAs and World YMCA with impact in all these years. During my tenure in each of these offices, I have been instrumental in strengthening corporate governance and policy formulation in both financial and other areas.

I aspire to further fulfill these in the capacity of President of the World YMCA together with fellow officers of the Executive Committee, the professional staff team, fellow prominent YMCA leaders and our promising young leaders to make our Movement more sustainable and impactful to bring about positive change in the World.

Cici

CiCi Rojas

Treasurer

USA

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CiCi Rojas

Treasurer

USA

Cici

Portrait

Extract from candidate profiles for the elections to the World YMCA Executive Committee of July 2022

CiCi Rojas is an accomplished C-Suite Executive turned entrepreneur, having built enterprises both in for profit environments, and for economic, political and social change.

After three decades of leading organizations dedicated to advancing key population growth segments, in 2017, she decided to transfer development skills, and extensive network to co-lead Tico Productions and Tico Sports LLC, a company established by her and her husband in 2012. The enterprise is a full-service multi-media production and bilingual marketing company, that developed a Spanish language broadcast and community engagement platform for professional sports teams. Her first partnership was formed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016, and has produced broadcasts for several other NFL, MLB, NHL, and Collegiate sports teams.

CiCi most recently served the Kansas City business community as President and CEO of the Central Exchange. As CEO, she provided vision, voice, and operational oversight for the 1000-plus members dedicated to the advancement of professional women from throughout the Kansas City area.

Prior to Central Exchange, CiCi served as Vice President of Community Engagement for Truman Medical Centers (TMC) in Kansas City, Missouri. This role included leadership of the following: Human Resources, Community Outreach, Employee Wellness, TMC Corporate Academy and the Hospital Hill Economic Development Corporation.

Preceding TMC, Rojas served various communities in the business, and political advocacy arenas. Her executive roles include leading two Hispanic Chambers of Commerce as: President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Greater Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and Vice President of Strategic Alliance with the Washington, DC-based United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

CiCi has been recognized for her business and community achievements with the following awards and recognitions; 2020 Ingrams WE KC Honoree, 2018 Nuestra Latina Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016 “Women Who Have Changed the Heart of the City”, Kansas City Business Journal Power 100 List, 2013 Greater Missouri Women’s Leadership Foundation, Woman of the year, 2013 KC Magazine Class of Influential Women, 2012 Girl Scout Pearl Award, 2011 NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award, and the 2010 Dallas Business Journal’s Corporate Advocate of the Year.

Cici is active in civic organizations on the local, national, and international levels. She serves on the YMCA World Council Executive Committee, the national President for the Latino Coalition, Chair-Elect of the YMCA National Board of Trustees, USA Volleyball and Friends of the American Latino Museum. In Kansas City, she is Chair, Kansas City Ballet, Past Chairman of Visit KC, YMCA Kansas City, and Vice-Chair of Guadalupe Centers, Inc. She also serves on the followingBoards: Arvest Bank, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, and St. Luke’s Health System Kansas City.

Carlos Madjri Sanvee

Carlos Sanvee

Secretary General

Togo

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Carlos Sanvee

Secretary General

Togo

Carlos Madjri Sanvee

Portrait

Carlos Madjri SANVEE (Togo) is Secretary General of the World Alliance of YMCAs. He took up the role in January 2019, having been elected during the 19th YMCA World Council in Chiang Mai, Thailand in July 2018. He is the first African Secretary General of World YMCA.

In his current role, he led the response to the Covid crisis from early 2020 by launching YMCA-wide efforts for Movements to share and help each other, notably launching the YMCA Covid Solidarity Fund. Putting young people at the centre of initiating and leading change, he created the vision for the Youth Led Solutions Initiative, a series of Summits and projects launched in 2021 to empower young people with knowledge, networks and resources to lead change in their communities. He has been at the forefront of developing new partnerships with the public, private and ‘third’ (civil society) sectors, especially with the ‘Big 6’ youth empowerment organisations and the WHO and UN, in launching the Global Youth Mobilization in 2020-2022. Building on the three-part Covid response strategy of ‘Resilience, Recovery and Reimagination’, he spearheaded a Movement-wide process of conversation and consultation which led to the adoption of YMCA Vision 2030 at the 20th YMCA World Council in Aarhus, Denmark in July 2022. The vision puts young people at the centre of the YMCA’s mission, a direction he had promoted across his different roles since 2010.

His priority in his second term of office – from 2022 to 2026 – is to see Vision 2030 implemented across the Movement, addressing the 12 Strategic Goals of the four ‘Pillars of Impact’: Community Wellbeing, Meaningful Work, Sustainable Planet, and Just World. World YMCA’s first duty is to add value to its members. 2023 saw the launch of two of the Vision 2030 Pillars (including a global survey on young people’s hopes and fears in the world of work), as well as the support functions for Strategic Alignment and Movement Strengthening, and Resource Development and Partnerships. He also became Chair of the ‘Big 6’ as it launched a second phase of the Global Youth Mobilization with EU funding.

Carlos Sanvee has been with the YMCA Movement for 50 years.

He joined YMCA Togo as a teenage volunteer in 1973, and became a staff member in 1987 as a youth worker and community organiser. He ultimately became the deputy National General Secretary.

He first joined World YMCA in January 1999 as Executive for Finance & Administration, a position he held until 2007. During this time he was secretary of the-then Youth Committee within the Executive Committee, and strove to integrate young people at all levels of the Committee, and not in separate committees.

He then worked as General Secretary of the Africa Alliance of YMCAs from 2007 until 2018, when he led the African YMCA Movements in articulating their collective identity with a shared vision around the ‘African Renaissance’. In this period he developed the Africa-wide YMCA ‘From Subject to Citizen’ programme.

From 2011 to 2018, he was also acting as a part-time Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the World YMCAs.

He holds a first degree in Physics and Chemistry from Université du Bénin in Togo, and a “Diplôme des Hautes études de pratiques sociales (DHEPS)” from Université Lyon Lumière II, France.

 

Members

Ronald Senghore

Ronald Senghore

Gambia

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Ronald Senghore

Gambia

Ronald Senghore

Portrait

Extract from candidate profiles for the elections to the World YMCA Executive Committee of July 2022

Ronald Senghore is a resident of The Gambia and a member of The Gambia YMCA. He has volunteered and served in the YMCA for over twenty years, currently holding the position of a Marcom (Marketing & Communications) Manager at Africell Gambia LTD (Telecoms company). He manages a diverse team that plans and implements marketing and public relation programs to increase subscriber growth and retention.

Ronald took up leadership roles very early in his life, having served at almost all leadership roles in Youth and Children Organizations that he was part of as a pre-teen and teenager.

Ronald has completed a number of trainings over the years, including but not limited to Entrepreneurship, S2C, Peer Health Education, Change Agent, Communications etc. He has worked with young people in starting their own businesses, engaging in tree planting to combat climate change, running his own weekly youth radio talk show on the biggest radio station in The Gambia and organising a yearly concert to educate young people through music and art.

Having served in the Executive Committee and a member of the strategy committee (putting together the strategic plan of World YMCA) from 2018 – 2022, Ronald is motivated to continue the amazing work the Committee has been doing. Following the outbreak of the pandemic, the Movement was hit by the biggest pandemic of our time and he can proudly say that he was part of the Executive Committee team that made decisions that kept the organization afloat and supported YMCAs across the world with the Solidarity Fund. Ronald was part of the team that planned and organized the Youth-led Solutions Initiative series on climate justice and the future of work. The youth-led initiative gave young change makers the opportunity to drive social innovation advancing the SDGs of the UN.

The YMCA has given Ronald life skills and experiences which he will continue to share in his community to impact the lives of young people. Ronald believes as a young person being part of a diverse group of EXCO members, he can help grow the YMCA, design programs and work with young people to come up with solutions. Using the communications and marketing experience he has gathered over the years to help make the YMCA become the go-to organization for all youth related matters around the world.

The YMCA has given Ronald life skills and experiences which he will continue to share in his community to impact the lives of young people. Ronald believes as a young person being part of a diverse group of EXCO members, he can help grow the YMCA, design programs and work with young people to come up with solutions. Using the communications and marketing experience he has gathered over the years to help make the YMCA become the go-to organization for all youth related matters around the world.

Karren Joy Fetalvero

Karren Joy Fetalvero

Philippines

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Karren Joy Fetalvero

Philippines

Karren Joy Fetalvero

Portrait

Extract from candidate profiles for the elections to the World YMCA Executive Committee of July 2022

Karren has been a member of the YMCA for 11 years now. It has played an integral part of her life and helped shape her into the person she is today. Karren would like to pay forward in this endeavor through further engagement in the movement.

Currently, Karren is a member of the Executive Committee of the World YMCA, and particularly the Movement Relevance Committee. She has also been a part of the Solidarity Fund Special Committee. Simultaneous to her engagement with the World YMCA, she sits as an ex-officio member at the national board of the YMCA of the Philippines. Karren’s involvement with the Y goes as early as when she was in High School, being a member of the Hi-Y Club and eventually working at her local YMCA as a Program Coordinator. Karren also got an opportunity to be exposed at the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs when she completed a year-long internship for the Global Alternative Tourism Network program. All these experiences combined have provided her with great appreciation for the mission of the YMCA as she has not only experienced them as a recipient, but also been a part of the programming and implementation level.

Professionally, Karren works at a foreign mission in the Philippines and helps in enhancing the relationship of the Philippines and the Czech Republic through engagement with the government, private sectors, and civil society. She has also taken on the role as the Gender Focal Person of the Embassy, engaged at the working group of the Delegation of the European Union to discuss gender equality programs and initiatives of the EU member states in the Philippines. Karren is also training herself on research and policy analysis as she completes her graduate studies in Development Policy. Specifically, Karren’s current research is focused on women’s participation in politics and governance.

Karren strongly believes in the space that the YMCA provides to the youth as she has seen it first hand. With this, she hopes to be of value to the continuous improvement and relevance of the World YMCA. Karren trusts in its mission and hopes to be an agent through which the mission of the YMCA can be realized.

Anaclara Rodriguez Canzani

Anaclara Rodriguez Canzani

Uruguay

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Anaclara Rodriguez Canzani

Uruguay

Anaclara Rodriguez Canzani

Portrait

Extract from candidate profiles for the elections to the World YMCA Executive Committee of July 2022

The real impact the YMCA makes on people’s lives, and the dream to collectively build a better world motivates her to serve in its most diverse spaces. By applying to be part of the World Alliance Executive Committee for 2022 – 2026, Anaclara wishes to work for a democratic and participatory World Alliance, which can maximize the positive impact every YMCA makes around the world.

Anaclara has been elected as an Executive Committee Member of the World Alliance in 2018 and will be serving on it until the 2022 World Council. At the YMCA of Montevideo, she served on the Board of Directors for a three-year-term (2014-2017).

During her service, Anaclara was twice appointed for the position of Secretary of the Board. She also integrated the directive commission of the largest branch of the YMCA Montevideo (CENTRO) for two three-year-terms: 2012-2014 and 2018–2020. She attended the ACJ Montevideo Board of Directors as a delegate in 2013–2014 and 2018-2020. Anaclara would also like to highlight her participation in two international programs, YGOR (a LACA program) and Change Agents.

Being part of the Executive Committee since 2018 has made Anaclara gain a deeper understanding of the everyday reality of the World YMCA, its projects, and future expectations. Her participation on the Governance Committee gives Anaclara the opportunity to work closer to the governance documents and policies and allow her to take a position taking the governance perspective into account.

In December 2021 Anaclara finished her MBA. This training has given Anaclara many tools and competencies for her role as a member of the executive committee.

Since her early childhood Anaclara has been involved with the YMCA. She always took part in a wide range of activities that offered her a safe environment to grow and to develop herself as a kid, teenager and adult. At the age of fourteen Anaclara’s engagement shifted from mere participant to volunteer, and her purpose was to work with others to provide everyone with the same safe and motivational environment she had experienced herself.

What Anaclara likes most about the YMCA is that its works are made collectively, working closely with others, and giving everyone involved the space and opportunity to develop their own ideas and empowering them to multiplicate the impact.

Crisiano Ristov

Cristiano Ristov

Brazil

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Cristiano Ristov

Brazil

Crisiano Ristov

Portrait

Extract from candidate profiles for the elections to the World YMCA Executive Committee of July 2022

Cristiano has attained a Major Degree in Physical Education and Sports Sciences from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul in 2010, and an upper Course of Formation in Commercial Management, from Rio Grande do Sul Development College - FADERGS in 2014. He has gained advanced work experience as Merchant, Managing Partner of JCG Celulares e Equipamentos Ltda., Porto Alegre, RS, and serving as Partner of the company Ccr Alimentos Ltda.- ME. During his tenure in the YMCA movement, Cristiano recorded a number of accomplishments as listed below:

  • Member since 9 October 2000.
  • Signed as a Board Member on 31 March 2011.
  • Member of the Council of the ACM/YMCA International: 2011.
  • Member of the Indicator Commission: 2012.
  • Leadership Committee: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015/2016/2017/2018 (coordinator), 2019,2020, 2021.
  • ACM Sports Center Council: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.
  • Social Development Area Council: 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021.
  • Necropolis Area Council: 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021.
  • Sports and Leisure Area Council: 2018, 2019.
  • ACM Rua da Praia Council: 2019.
  • João XXIII Ecumenical Cemetery Council: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2021.
  • Board of Directors: 2013/2015; 2016/2018, 2020/2022.
  • Strategic Planning, Human Resources and Leadership Committee: 2013.
  • Strategic Planning and Human Resources Committee: 2014.
  • Strategic Planning Commission: 2015 (coordinator).
  • International/National and Expansion Commission: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020,2021.
  • Human Resources Committee: 2016/2017 – coordinator.
  • Director of the Brazilian Federation of YMCAs: 2013/2014, 2015/2016(secretary), 2017/2018.
  • 1st Secretary Administrative Board: 2014/2015.

Cristiano hopes to continue his representation and service to the YMCA in his quest to serve in the World YMCA Executive Committee.

Christopher Lewis

Christopher Lewis

Australia

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Christopher Lewis

Australia

Christopher Lewis

Portrait

Extract from candidate profiles for the elections to the World YMCA Executive Committee of July 2022

Christopher is motivated to ensure relevance and sustainability of the YMCA, continuing to make a difference in the progression and development of the World Alliance with his risk management, governance, assurance and operations capabilities. Christopher has worked internationally for more than 35 years focusing on risk management, governance and controls, assurance and operations. He has experience delivering services as an external advisor, as a line executive responsible for substantial business operations and as an external director.

He has led and participated in consulting, assurance and due diligence projects for a range of companies in Australia, New Zealand, the USA, United Kingdom, China, and Asia. He has a Bachelor of Economics and Mathematics from Monash University, and is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand and a Graduate member of the Institute of Company Directors.

Christopher has a passion for engaging with people to improve their organisations with a focus on governance, process and controls, finance and risk management. He is also passionate about mentoring, coaching and developing young people, and has done so over his entire career. He believes that individuals can make a difference, when they’re supported.

In the last five years, Christopher has strengthened the YMCA Australia national movement - moving the YMCA Australia from secretariat to leader with deliverables and outcomes. Other highlights include development of National Safeguarding children and young people unit and resources, the National Redress scheme, empowering young people with the Office for Young People, the Y brand refresh, key advocacy in 2020 and national strategic pillars alignment.

Christopher is a long-term member of the Salvation Army community church.

Nalisoa Andrianarivo

Nalisoa Andrianarivo

Madagascar

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Nalisoa Andrianarivo

Madagascar

Nalisoa Andrianarivo

Portrait

Extract from candidate profiles for the elections to the World YMCA Executive Committee of July 2022

Nalisoa wants to be the voice of young people and put her skills and experience to the service of the World YMCA for the benefit of her peers.

She is currently finalizing her Masters degree in Education science from the University of Antananarivo, and holds a bachelor degree in Education science specialized in languages teaching from the same University.

For two years, Nalisoa has worked as a consultant with CBM Madagascar and as such has provided language translation and interpretation during conferences, focus groups, workshops concerning inclusive education and Disability Inclusion Development.

She currently works as a pedagogical advisor within Baliaka Education group in which she works with 40 primary schools all around Madagascar in order to improve the quality of education provided.

Nalisoa joined YMCA Madagascar in 2016 as a young member of the YMCA Urban Environment Club as she was passionate about the protection of the environment. In 2017, she became one of the leaders of the club and in 2018 was selected to be part of the young advocate for change program, a program of the African Alliance of YMCAs. Based in YMCA Zimbabwe and with the support of the local branch manager, she implemented different activities related to transformative masculinity, members recruitment, and establishing different youth power space activities. The same efforts were made during her follow-up activities back at her local YMCA. The creation of the Y-quiz club that aims at enhancing young people’s knowledge through different quizzes and games was part of that plan.

In 2019, Nalisoa was chosen to be part of the African Alliance of YMCA’s S2C Ambassadors. This role consisted in spreading the Subject to Citizen Philosophy and to gather Malagasy young people’s voice and thoughts about the possible “future scenarios” for the African continent.

She was also part of the fourth cohort of Change Agents of the World Alliance of YMCAs and her project was focused on establishing High Y-clubs in different high schools. Those High Y-Clubs were meant to educate in-schools youth about different topics such as: transformative masculinity, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Initiation to Entrepreneurship and Subject to Citizen Philosophy.

Nalisoa believes the YMCA, from her Y-club, national movement, area alliance, to the World Alliance has given her space to grow. The trust and the faith the Y put in her through these different experiences have built and enhanced her personal confidence and helped Nalisoa believe that she can participate in the empowerment of her peers and community. In return, Nalisoa will give her time, talent and treasure in the service of the YMCA and her peers.

Harvin Vallabhaneni

Harvin Vallabhaneni

USA

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Harvin Vallabhaneni

USA

Harvin Vallabhaneni

Portrait

Extract from candidate profiles for the elections to the World YMCA Executive Committee of July 2022

Born in India, Harvin left his friends and family to move to the United States in elementary school. Initially filled with hope and a sense of adventure, he quickly fell victim to the many issues that plague young immigrants. Harvin was outcast at school for not knowing American culture and stagnated academically as he learned English. After struggling for months, Harvin’s parents signed him up for a soccer league at his local YMCA. Quickly, his sense of being an outsider faded as Harvin and his friends scrambled around the soccer pitch. Harvin’s local YMCA was instrumental to his finding a home in the US and its programs gave him the confidence to grow into a youth leader. Today, he volunteers with the Y to give the millions of other struggling kids in the movement the same sense of refuge.

Outside the Y, Harvin works as a Management Consultant at Bain and Company. Day-to-day, he helps the largest companies tackle pressing and existential questions such as, “will this acquisition help us stay relevant in the market?”, “how do we empower our employees to be more innovative?”. As the World YMCA adopts Vision 2030, these sorts of questions are more important than ever. Harvin will bring strategic, analytical thinking and a tactical understanding of how to implement a strategy to the Executive Committee – vital skills as it executes its new strategic plan.

Harvin has three years of YMCA governance experience: first serving as ex-officio, national board member with YMCA of the USA while getting his MBA at Northwestern Kellogg School of Management, and currently as a member of the YMCA of the USA’s National International Diversity & Inclusion Committee. As a Board member, he pushed for more youth representation in the Y-USA board and elevated best practices from across the world movement.

The World YMCA is at a crossroads, and Vision 2030 is an ambitious plan that requires careful execution. With his expertise as a management consultant and his passion for the Y, Harvin can help the World YMCA successfully implement Vision 2030. The World YMCA has the opportunity to create a more inclusive world – one where every refugee, immigrant is welcomed with open arms, and young people are empowered to help shape the policy and solutions of the world – Harvin plans to help the organization realize this goal.

Sarah Bremner

Sarah Bremner

Scotland

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Sarah Bremner

Scotland

Sarah Bremner

Portrait

Extract from candidate profiles for the elections to the World YMCA Executive Committee of July 2022

Sarah was brought up in the YMCA and then became a volunteer in her local YMCA - Dumfries. When she moved to Aberdeen to study primary teaching at Aberdeen University, it was natural to become involved in Aberdeen YMCA. At the same time, Sarah also became more involved nationally at YMCA Scotland in their Youth Committee before joining the Executive Committee. From these positions, she attended events at YMCA Europe and progressed to becoming a Change Agent with the World YMCA. Sarah has always loved the feeling of being part of the YMCA family at all levels and looked for other opportunities to become more involved in the YMCA.

Sarah completed YMCA Scotland’s Full Board training programme and this trained her in different aspects involved in governance and the role and responsibilities of being a part of a Board of Directors. This training course provided her with a wealth of knowledge which assisted in Sarah’s role on her local board of directors and then joining YMCA Scotland’s executive committee.

Being involved in governance at both local and national levels has given Sarah great experience in understanding how governance at different levels operates, as well as how to deal with unknown challenges, and how to pre-empt other challenges. She has learnt a vast range of skills including dealing with finances, strategic planning as well as policy writing.

One other skill Sarah has learnt is to look to the future. It is good to learn from the past but ultimately, we need to be looking forward and identifying the next opportunities and ways to empower young people. She feels that she will be able to use these skills at a world level as part of the World Executive Committee but also continue to learn and develop through this new, exciting opportunity.

Sarah is excited, if elected, to be part of driving forward the new strategic plan at local, national and world levels, continuing to look forward and find new ways and opportunities for empowering young people.

Brenda Flaherty

Brenda Flaherty

Canada

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Brenda Flaherty

Canada

Brenda Flaherty

Portrait

Extract from candidate profiles for the elections to the World YMCA Executive Committee of July 2022

Brenda Flaherty is a strategic leader with extensive experience guiding organizational change initiatives for complex organizations and systems in the health care sector. Strongly committed to building healthy communities, she has actively worked to do so throughout her career and volunteer engagements. Brenda believes all young people should have the opportunity to reach their full potential and that organizations like the YMCA are well-positioned to support youth and communities worldwide by influencing and transforming the systems that impact them.

Brenda’s involvement with the YMCA in Canada includes most recently serving as Chair of the National Board. She is also past Chair of the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford. One of Brenda’s most significant YMCA accomplishments was to lead the development of the Live Well partnership between the YMCA, Hamilton Health Sciences, and McMaster University, collaboratively linking acute care hospital health services with community health and wellness programs.

Brenda retired as Executive Vice President, Clinical Operations and Chief Operating Officer at Hamilton Health Sciences, representing seven hospitals and serving 2.3 million people. Brenda continues to lead systems-wide change to improve healthcare, research, and education, which involves leading and participating in many regional, provincial, national expert panels and advisory committees. Brenda is also an Assistant Professor at McMaster University and was a part-time instructor in the MBA program.

Brenda remains engaged in several organizations which have included the Ontario Brain Institute Outreach Advisory Committee; North Hamilton Community Health Centre; and the Change Foundation where she served in capacities including Board Chair.

Brenda leverages her position as a community leader to advocate for change, particularly on behalf of youth, and always with a lens of diversity and inclusion, seeking to integrate differing perspectives. Motivated by her work with the YMCA, from 2019-2021, Brenda was a member of a three-person independent review panel involving nearly 10,000 stakeholders in a consultation process that produced a report: Building Healthy Relationships and an Inclusive, Caring Learning Environment, on bullying prevention and intervention. They have since engaged the Ontario government to call for transformational systems change in education.

Brenda is a Registered Nurse, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from McMaster University and a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University. She was recognized by McMaster University, Faculty of Health Sciences with an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Science (2019). Brenda lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada with her husband and is the proud mother of three daughters.

Maurine Kouba

Maurine Kouba

East Jerusalem

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Maurine Kouba

East Jerusalem

Maurine Kouba

Portrait

Extract from candidate profiles for the elections to the World YMCA Executive Committee of July 2022

Maurine is a longtime volunteer at the East Jerusalem YMCA and works closely with youth groups. She is a member of the general assembly of the EJ-YMCA and participated as a Change Agent in 2018. Kouba has also volunteered in different projects in the youth and women’s programs throughout the years.

Kouba is a Business Communication Master graduate from the University of Siena in Italy and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Banking and Business Administration from Birzeit University in Palestine.

Currently, she is a project coordinator at the YWCA of Jerusalem in the women’s and youth development programs. Maurine led Gender-Based Violence, women and youth empowerment projects through capacity building training and community action as well as leading advocacy campaigns. Being a member of the YWCA, a sister organization, gives her another dimension of understanding the work that YMCA is doing.

Throughout her experience with the YMCA, Maurine discovered her passion in working towards creating change in her community. Maurine believes that the YMCA with its mission and Christian values, is a safe space for enhancing the capacities of those that share these values, and is the home where youth can raise their voices in which opportunities manifest for creative solutions for the problems that they and many others face.

Maurine also learnt how to interact with the different groups she worked with, which gave her the sense of leadership, especially with sharing decisions and solutions. In turn, it had a good impact where she was a key person to initiate the very vibrant youth hub in EJ YMCA, Ramallah. Being a YMCA person with the basic slogan “Once a YMCA person, forever a YMCA person” gives Maurine the eagerness to look for more involvement and on higher levels, where she believes, by representing the Middle East in the Executive Committee, she can share their vision with her fellow members and enhance their work in the global movement.

Coming from East Jerusalem gives Maurine another perspective to understand working with marginalized communities. On the other hand, with her Bachelors and Masters degree, Maurine feels she can be useful in this coming Executive Committee and will look forward to being a member in the different committees, especially the Finance Committee.

Our voices are not only a fundamental part of the YMCA movement, but are also the building blocks for transformational change in our societies in our time and beyond.

Lena Schickhaus

Lena Schickhaus

Germany

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Lena Schickhaus

Germany

Lena Schickhaus

Portrait

Extract from candidate profiles for the elections to the World YMCA Executive Committee of July 2022

Young people are not only the future of our world, they are the present. As a young woman, Lena is thankful to say that in the YMCA she received the opportunity to get rooted in a strong community, got to see the beauty of serving others, got a voice that was heard by others and a faith in a God that knows no borders.

Young people are not only the future of our world, they are the present. As a young woman, Lena is thankful to say that in the YMCA she received the opportunity to get rooted in a strong community, got to see the beauty of serving others, got a voice that was heard by others and a faith in a God that knows no borders.

Vice President of YMCA Berlin since 2019 (Board member since 2018), member of the committee “YMCA Worldwide” in YMCA Germany and a former YMCA Change Agent (2017-2018), Lena studied medicine at Charité Berlin since 2015; going to be a graduated medical doctor in June 2022. Lena’s focus is on pediatric care and youth health. She has international YMCA experience through one-year voluntary service in YMCA Perú in 2014/2015 and participating in YMCA World Council 2018.

Lena believes the YMCA is the best place on earth for young people to explore their purpose in life, get the motivation to change our world and find hope for the future. For her, young people get transformed by the love of Jesus Christ and start to serve their communities as the Paris Basis calls them to spread God's kingdom among young people. The beauty of people coming together from all ends of the world and having the same goal - striving for hope, purpose and the future for our generation - is what amazes her most when she thinks about the YMCA.

As a professional in health issues with focus on pediatric and youth care, Lena knows the importance of mental health in society. She wants to put emphasis on this topic within the movement and help to develop strategies on how to strengthen young people's mental health.

Area Presidents, Past President, Y’s Men liaison, Co-opted member

Dr. Adrien Coly

Dr. Adrien Coly

Area President

Africa Alliance of YMCAs

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Dr. Adrien Coly

Area President

Africa Alliance of YMCAs

Dr. Adrien Coly

Dr. Adrien Coly (Senegal) serves on the World YMCA Executive Committee ‘ex officio’ as President of the Africa Alliance of YMCAs, a role he has held since July 2019.

He served as the President of the Senegal YMCA from April 2011 to December 2019. Dr. Coly began his service at YMCA Senegal as President of the Parcelles Assainies Branch (Dakar) in March 2006.

In 2010, Dr. Coly co-founded the NCD Senegal Association, and chaired the organisation for 10 years. He is also President of the National Water Partnership, a commitment he combines with his work as a lecturer-researcher at the Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis (Senegal).

Dr. Adrien Coly is a Chevalier national de l'ordre du mérite, a distinction awarded by the French Ministry of Youth for services rendered to the youth of his country and for his career as a young person in scouting (since 1983), in the Jeunesse étudiante catholique (1987 to 1995) and in the CV-AV children's movement.

Prof. Chin Seng Chen

Prof. Chin Seng Chen

Area President

Asia & Pacific Alliance of YMCAs

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Prof. Chin Seng Chen

Area President

Asia & Pacific Alliance of YMCAs

Prof. Chin Seng Chen

Professor Chen Chin-Seng (Taiwan) serves on the World YMCA Executive Committee ‘ex officio’ as Area President of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs.

Outside the YMCA, he works as a ministerial-level official of the Taiwan Government, recruiting and training civil servants. He holds a Ph.D. from National Taiwan University, majoring in entomology, with a particular focus on mosquito ecology and control.

He has served as the president of NCY Taiwan and the chairman of the YMCA Association of Taichung for three terms. He first joined the Taichung YMCA as a permanent member in 1985 and served as the chairman of the Youth Activities Committee – along with being an active member and volunteer leader. In addition, he was also the president of a community college affiliated with the YMCA in Taichung.

Professor Chen has served for more than ten years as chairman of College Ministry Committee of the Taiwan Presbyterian Church and chairman of the church of Tunghai University in Taiwan. Additionally, he served as Chairperson of the Biology Department, Dean of Science, Chief R&D Officer of Tunghai University, and President of the Chang Jung Christian University (2003-2013).

 

 

Emma Osmundsen

Emma Osmundsen

Area President

YMCA Europe

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Emma Osmundsen

Area President

YMCA Europe

Emma Osmundsen

Emma Osmundsen (UK)serves on the World YMCA Executive Committee ‘ex officio’ as President of YMCA Europe, a role she has held since 2020.

She has been involved with the YMCA for over a decade at a local level at YMCA Exeter, where she is a trustee and volunteer, and at a national level, where she is Vice Chairman of the National Council of YMCA England & Wales.

Emma is a Chartered Director and Chartered Surveyor and is the Chief Executive of Sixty Bricks Ltd, a profit-for-purpose development company in London that develops zero carbon, healthy and climate-ready buildings. Emma is globally recognised for pioneering the International Passivhaus Standard and is a frequent conference speaker across the world.

Emma is a champion of YMCA Vision 2030, particularly around contributing to the Sustainable Planet goals and helping channel young people’s commitment to climate justice and youth-led sustainability solutions.

Gerardo Medina

Gerardo Medina

Area President

Latin America & Carribean Alliance of YMCAs

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Gerardo Medina

Area President

Latin America & Carribean Alliance of YMCAs

Gerardo Medina

Gerardo Medina (Peru) serves on the World YMCA Executive Committee ‘ex officio’ as President of the Latin America & Caribbean Alliance of YMCAs. He has been a part of the YMCA movement since 1980 when he first joined youth programmes. Over the years, he has served in various roles, both programmatic and governance, always as a volunteer. He has been a member of the Board of Directors and Board Chair of YMCA Peru on two occasions.

Since his youth, he participated in regional volunteer leadership development programmes. In addition, Gerardo was part of the transition to a new area organisation that in 2003 led to the formation of the Latin American and the Caribbean Alliance of YMCA (ALCACJ for its acronym in Spanish).

Gerardo is a mechanical engineer by profession. He has completed various post-graduate studies both in Peru and abroad, holding a master’s degree in Regulation of Public Services. He also has the international certification as a Project Manager Professional (PMP), granted by the Project Management Institute (PMI) based in Pennsylvania, USA. For more than 20 years, he has worked in facilities, maintenance, infrastructure and project management in top-level organisations in the real estate/retail, energy and infrastructure sectors.

Patricia Pelton

Patricia Pelton

Past President

Canada

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Patricia Pelton

Past President

Canada

Patricia Pelton

Patricia Pelton (Canada) serves on the World YMCA Executive Committee ‘ex officio’ as the Immediate Past President of World YMCA, having served a four-year term ending in July 2022.

Patricia was the first female and first Canadian to serve in this capacity in the YMCA’s 175+ year history.

Patricia has extensive governance experience at local, national, and international levels. Presently, she is also a Director of Careers, the Next Generation - an organisation committed to increasing employment opportunities for young people as well as assisting in mitigating the human resource shortage in the corporate and public sectors. Patricia serves on a Regulatory College under the Health Professions Act of the province of Alberta, Canada, chairing the Finance and Audit Committee.

Patricia has held several senior-level roles in the healthcare sector, including as CEO of the Northern Lights Health Authority as well as the Health Quality Council of Alberta.

Torben Kristensen

Y’s Men liaison

Denmark

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Torben Kristensen

Y’s Men liaison

Denmark

Torben Kristensen (Denmark) serves on the World YMCA Executive Committee ‘ex officio’ as the official liaison with Y’s Men International.

He became a member of Viborg Y's Men's Club in 1983 and over the years held the positions of Treasurer, President (twice), District Governor (twice) and Secretary of District Governor.

Having first joined the YMCA when he was 15, Torben served as Treasurer of his local YMCA. He has been the Y’s Men Region Denmark's representative on the Danish YMCA Central Board, and continues to participate in local YMCA activities.

Torben helped plan the YMCA World Councils in Aarhus, Denmark, in 2022 and Nyborg, Denmark in 1985.

Now retired, Torben previous  worked at Denmark's largest cheese dairy, supervising energy, water saving, and wastewater treatment.

Duncan Ingram

Duncan Ingram

Co-opted member

England & Wales

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Duncan Ingram

Co-opted member

England & Wales

Duncan Ingram

Duncan Ingram (UK) serves on the World YMCA Executive Committee ‘ex officio’ as a Co-opted Member.

Duncan, who holds a degree from Oxford University, has spent most of his career in telecommunications. He was a managing director at BT, Britain’s leading telecommunications company operating globally. He was Chair of the Governance Committee of the 2018-2022  World YMCA Executive Committee and is a past Vice Chair of YMCA England & Wales. Duncan is also Vice Chair of YMCA St. Paul’s Group, the largest YMCA in Europe.

In addition to his roles with the YMCA, he currently serves as the Chair of the UK’s largest paediatric brain injury rehabilitation service, He is also a Trustee of a major UK care and support charity, and a governor of one of the UK’s most academically successful schools with growing international affiliates. Duncan also chairs one of the UK’s leading and most influential environmental NGOs.

He has wide UK and international non-executive experience sitting on boards and advisory committees across regulation, manufacturing, technology, publishing, utilities, education, care, health and the environment.

Jeanette Hernandez Prenger

Co-opted

USA

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Jeanette Hernandez Prenger

Co-opted

USA

USA, was selected to join the Executive Committee as a co-opted member. A successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, she will provide support to the Resource Development Committee.

Jeanette began her career as a software developer and was promoted to various management positions during her tenure at notable companies such as Sprint, TWA and Federal Reserve Bank. In 1995, Jeanette founded ECCO Select with one client, and it has grown into a leading provider of technology talent for Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies, with three offices in the USA. In addition, Jeanette has been recognized for her philanthropic work at the local, regional and national levels.

What is the Executive Committee?

  • The Executive Committee consists of:
    • The Officers of the World Alliance elected by the World Council, each representing different geographic regions
    • Eleven Members elected by the World Council representing different geographic regions, with a minimum of four being 30 years of age or under when elected, and a maximum of seven from the same gender
    • Presidents of Area Organisations recognised by the World Council
    • The Secretary General of the World Alliance, with no power to vote
    • The immediate Past President of the World Alliance, with no power to vote
    • The Y’s Men International liaison officer to the World Alliance, with no power to vote.
  • The tasks of the Executive Committee are:
    • To carry out the policy and specific instructions of the World Council, to complete all matters committed to its charge, and to act with all the powers of the World Council
    • To monitor the work, finances and personnel of the World Alliance
    • To undertake the planning and orientation of World Council meetings
    • To undertake such actions and responsibilities as required for the good governance of the World Alliance and as required by the World Alliance or World Council, in compliance with the Constitution, resolutions and all proposals of the World Council
    • To appoint the Secretary General
    • To represent the World Alliance in its relationship with other world organisations
    • To issue each year the call for observance by Young Men’s Christian Associations throughout the world for the Week of Prayer and World Fellowship
The first World YMCA Executive Committee, 1878
The first World YMCA Executive Committee, 1878