Posted by Jeff Ronstadt on Jun 08, 2018
The YMCA celebrated its 174th birthday last week. But as well-known and as venerable an institution as the Y has become, it is not just the “swim and gym” many remember growing up.  Its original mission of service for all remains as fundamental as ever, but the Y has become a vibrant organization deeply engaged in meeting the needs of the communities it serves.  As a cause-driven organization, the Y has three areas of focus:  Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.  Through Youth Development the Y nurtures the potential of every child and teen by supporting their unique youth development journey through holistic programming.
From cradle to career, the Y provides all youth with the tools and resources they need to succeed in life. Through Healthy Living we aim to improve the nation’s health and well-being by providing programs and activities that promote wellness, reduce risk for disease and help others reclaim their health. Finally, through Social Responsibility we know that when we work together, we move individuals, families and communities forward. The Y responds to society’s most pressing needs by developing innovative, community-based solutions to help those in need to reach their full potential. These programs and everything else the Y does are in service of making us—our Ys and our communities—better.
Biography ~ Kurtis Dawson
Kurtis Dawson joined the YMCA of Southern Arizona as President and CEO at the beginning of 2017 after 15 years at the YMCA of Grays Harbor in Hoquiam, Washington, southwest of Seattle. Kurtis served at all levels, working his way up through the ranks to become CEO/Executive Director in 2008. That broad experience has given him a hands-on understanding of all aspects of running a successful YMCA.  He played a central role in helping the YMCA of Grays Harbor grow and prosper, surpassing previous budgetary and fundraising goals in the process.  At the YMCA of Southern Arizona, Kurtis has engaged his volunteers and staff in developing a strategic direction of One Y, Strengthening Relationships, and Standard of Excellence.  Kurtis is no stranger to Rotary; he is a past President of the Rotary Club in Aberdeen, Washington and was chosen Rotarian of the year 2 times. Kurtis is an avid Seattle Seahawks fan, but since coming to Tucson, he has also become an active Wildcat basketball fan. Family is extremely important to Kurtis; he is a devoted husband and father. In their free time, Kurtis, his wife Sasha, and their 4 daughters enjoy creating culinary masterpieces to share with family and friends.