Susan Fortier is new director of Meeting Waters YMCA

BELLOWS FALLS — The board of directors for the Meeting Waters YMCA has selected Susan Fortier to serve as the organization's new executive director.

She has served as the organization's program director since the fall of 1998 and she will be replacing her husband, Steve Fortier, as the regional Y's staff leader.

Steve recently left the YMCA to become the new director of external relations at Keene State College.

The board chair, John Hagen, said that with Steve's departure, the board was looking for a new director who had significant experience in the YMCA movement, a strong personal sense of commitment to YMCA principles, and a deep understanding of our region.

“Susan is nationally recognized by the YMCA for her youth development and healthy living programs,” Hagen said in a news release. “The region is incredibly fortunate to have someone of Susan's caliber and dedication leading Meeting Waters YMCA efforts to strengthen our communities.”

She has a master's degree in organizational leadership and management from Springfield College and a bachelor's in physical education/sports medicine from Keene State College.

Susan has worked within the YMCA movement since her teens, first at the Greater Burlington YMCA where she was a “Y kid” throughout her childhood and then became a camp leader in her late teens.

She was at South Shore YMCA as a camp counselor at Camp Hayward; the Keene Family YMCA where she served as aquatics and youth director in the mid- to late 1980s; and Hunterdon County YMCA, where she served as a before- and after-school site director, and swim and fitness instructor.

Under Susan's leadership as program director, Meeting Waters YMCA programs have been recognized as “national models” three times in the past three years.

Meeting Waters YMCA was one of 15 YMCAs recognized by the YMCA of the USA for both its policies and practices around national healthy eating and physical activity standards for after-school programs and for its family engagement practices. Last month, the National AfterSchool Association named Meeting Waters YMCA's Y-Aspire program one of the nation's “most influential in health and wellness.”

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