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Ozarks Regional YMCA has a new CEO

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The Ozarks Regional YMCA’s second-ever chief operations officer has been tapped as the nonprofit’s next CEO.

Kathryn Custer, who’s been COO since summer 2017, is scheduled to start as CEO on Oct. 1, when she’ll succeed the retiring Steve Gimenez, according to a news release.

“With more than 15 years of YMCA experience, Kathryn brings a wealth of YMCA knowledge that will be essential as we continue to grow and serve our communities. We are pleased she has chosen to continue to serve at the YMCA for our association,” Ozarks Regional YMCA board President Shannon Boggs said in the release.

As CEO, Custer will be responsible for aligning resources and leading community efforts for some 25,000 members, as well as oversight of facilities, programs, operations and growth.

“It is an honor to be a part of the Ozarks Regional YMCA association and participate in an organization that promotes the core values and character building that is taught at the YMCA,” Custer said in the release.

Custer was selected after a national search with help from the YMCA of the USA.

Prior to becoming COO of the Ozarks Regional YMCA, Custer was executive director of the Jorgensen Family YMCA in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she oversaw a membership of 18,000 and a $4 million budget, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

The Ozarks Regional YMCA ranked second this year on SBJ’s list of the area’s largest nonprofit organizations, published Jan. 29. The organization reported 642 employees, an operating budget of $10.5 million and $900,000 in funds raised locally last year.

The nonprofit operates two family centers in Springfield, the Ozark Mountain Branch in Hollister, Roy Blunt YMCA of Bolivar, Dallas County YMCA in Buffalo, Monett Area YMCA, Cassville YMCA, Lebanon Family YMCA and Summer Resident YMCA Camp Wakonda, according to the release.

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