YMCA Celebrates Historic Board Appointment

CONTACT: Kristine Allard, Executive Vice President & Chief of Staff, Advancement & Strategy
YMCA of Greater Springfield
YMCA Celebrates Historic Board Appointment
Springfield, MA (March 11, 2015) – On March 31, 2015, the YMCA of Greater Springfield will celebrate yet another milestone in its 163-year history.

Prominent Springfield Attorney Jeffrey Poindexter will take on the role of chairperson of the organization’s corporate board – marking the first time a person of color has held this position.

Poindexter will formally accept the position at the Y’s Annual Meeting of the Y Members on March 31, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the Mass Mutual Center. The meeting will include a synopsis of the 2014 accomplishments and announcement of new board members and officers for 2015. This event is open to members of the Y community.

Later that evening, an invitation-only reception hosted by the YMCA and prominent leaders in the greater Springfield community will be held at the Springfield Country Club at 6:30 p.m. The event is generously sponsored by the lawfirm of Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas, where Poindexter practices law. The “Roast & Toast” will celebrate the historic significance of Poindexter’s appointment. Hosts include: Kirk Ray Smith, President & CEO, YMCA of Greater Springfield; Raymond Jordan, Retired State Representative, Co-chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party and former Special Projects Officer for the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development; Haskell Kennedy, Retired Director of the Office of Equity Programs for the State of Connecticut; and Henry Thomas, Chair of the UMASS Board of Trustees and President of the Urban League of Springfield.

“As the second oldest YMCA in the United States and the fourth oldest YMCA in the world, this is a significant milestone in the history of this YMCA and a testament to our Y’s commitment to diversity and inclusion,” says YMCA President & CEO Kirk Smith. “Jeff is a tremendous leader in our community. We are proud to welcome him into this role.”

Media are encouraged to attend both events.

The first YMCA in the world established to serve African American people came into being in 1853, eight years before the Civil War and 10 years before slavery was officially ended in the United States. The principal founder was a former slave, Anthony Bowen, who, with a group of friends, organized the “YMCA for Colored Men and Boys” in Washington, D.C., just nine years after the world’s first YMCA was founded in London, England and less than two years after the first North American YMCAs were organized in Boston, Montreal and Springfield.

Currently, the YMCA of Greater Springfield serves 14 cities and towns and 115,000 members and participants each year. The Y of Greater Springfield is dedicated to programs for Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.

For more information on the Y, visit www.springfieldy.org or contact Kristine Allard at kallard@springfieldy.org.

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