Meet Matt Lund, CEO of the Grants Pass Family YMCA who was recently selected to be the interim CEO of the YMCA of Douglas County.

Lund became the CEO of the YMCA of Douglas County late last month after the retirement of Gary Williams, who himself had been interim CEO since February, replacing Marissa Fink. Lund talked to The News-Review about himself, his role at the YMCA of Douglas County, and his vision for the future of the Y.

Question: How long have you worked for the YMCA?

Answer: I have worked for the YMCA for roughly 13 years. I started my career as a sports coordinator at a small Y in Southern Wisconsin. During my career I have worked at other Y’s around the country, with two of them being in the top 5 largest YMCA’s in the country.

  • YMCA of Metro Chicago / $110 million budget — Operations Director
  • YMCA of Greater Wichita / $60 million budget — Executive Director
  • YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities / $165 million — Executive Director

I then changed my career path to learn more about human behavior, wellness and overall well-being. I became the executive director of the National Wellness Institute for 3.5 years.

After missing the YMCA and working with so many great communities my family and I decided to come back to the Y.

Q: What do you like about it?

A: I love serving the community and focusing on strengthening the community.

Q: What makes the YMCA of Douglas County so special?

A: The Y does a fantastic job in creating much needed diversity and inclusion. It is a place where you can go and find something special for you. The Y serves everyone from 3 years old to 100 years plus. We are a place to help people go from coping in life to THRIVING.

Q: Do you have a sense of how long you’ll be interim CEO with the Douglas Y?

A: My current role has a contract set for July 2021. This is an ever-evolving conversation between the board and myself. As of now we are working on a long-term plan.

Q: What special challenges does this role present for you? Challenges for the Douglas Y, or just in general?

A: With the current pandemic the Y faces many challenges that will need to be addressed. Just to name a few:

  • Budget and current revenue streams
  • Operational model
  • Implementing new best practices
  • Understanding community needs
  • Staff training and development
  • Creating a sustainable Y
  • Introducing new programs and growing membership

Q: The South County Y recently closed. What would need to happen for it to be able to reopen? Any time frame for that? Other thoughts on the South County Y?

A: This was a tough decision for all those involved. The South County Y was already financially struggling, and the pandemic pushed the Y too far in the red. We hope that over the next 1-2 years we will be able to come back to the South County area. The Y may look a little different, but the focus will continue to be strengthening the community and helping people in their journey, and becoming healthier and happier.

As for what it will take…We need the community’s support socially, physically, financially, and occupationally. We need to make sure the Y can run and sustain its own business practices and operations.

Q: How has COVID-19 impacted the YMCA in general and the Douglas County Y in particular?

A: The YMCA has been and continues to be negatively impacted by COVID-19. Many members have canceled at this time. The YMCA of Douglas County has lost roughly 50% of its members and has not been able to run 90% of its original programs. We need the community to continue to support us and financially help where possible by joining or donating to the Y. Right now the biggest plan is to make sure we are here in the community for the next 10, 20, 100 years, so we can continue to support those in need of our services and programs focused around youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Q: Anything else readers should know about you,your role with the Dougas County YMCA, or anythig else?

A: I have four young children — Adalynn 10, Christian 9, Payton 6 and McKaelynn 5. I have also been married for 11 years to my wife, Stephanie.

I played many different sports growing up: four years varsity basketball, four years varsity baseball and full ride college basketball scholarship in New Mexico. And I played semi-pro basketball here in the US.

One of my greatest joys and work experiences was running a large AAU basketball program in California for about six years. When I transitioned my career into the YMCA of Metro Chicago, I had more than 6,000 kids play sports through my programs.

Scott Carroll can be reached at scarroll@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4204. Or follow him on Twitter @scottcarroll15.

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