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Friday, November 13, 2015

YMCA Executive Director: Erin Swift

Central gathering places make up the fiber of the Fort Thomas Community.  From the schools, to festivals, to the businesses, all hold an important place in the lives of the town citizens.  Perhaps, though, none as much as the Campbell County YMCA where we gather, play, workout, and create community.  Recently, a big change has occurred in the leadership at the YMCA with Erin Swift replacing Dana Ensley as the Executive Director.  Swift brings with her many ideas to enhance the experience, build upon the successes of the programs, and continue to create the community we’ve come to enjoy.  In FTM’s exclusive interview with Swift, she expounds upon her background and goals for the YMCA.

FTM: Where are you from?

Swift: I was born in the small town of Rolling Stone, MN, about 20 minutes outside of Winona, MN, and moved to Fond du Lac, WI, when I was two years old.  I grew up in Fond du Lac, went to St. Mary's Springs High School and, after graduating went to Edgewood College in Madison, WI, for my bachelor's degree.  I graduated from Edgewood College with degrees in Computer Information Systems and Business.

FTM: What is your background?

Swift: After graduating from Edgewood, I started working as a web developer for a local distribution company.  I enjoyed the challenge and puzzle solving that is guaranteed with coding, but I found myself wanting to do more or make a greater impact every day.  So I took my background as a high school and collegiate athlete and my interest in exercise physiology and decided I was going to study and become a personal trainer.  I moved down to Highland Heights to live with a cousin who was working for the Y at the time and started working the Welcome Center at the Clermont YMCA in Batavia.  Eight years later, I've been a Program Director, Senior Program Director and Associate Executive Director throughout different YMCA's in the Greater Cincinnati area.

FTM: Where in Northern Kentucky do you live?

Swift: I currently live in Burlington, KY, with my husband, Cameron and my two girls Abbi (4) and Bri (2).

FTM: What do you like about the Fort Thomas community?

Swift: The thing that has struck me the most about the Fort Thomas and the Campbell County YMCA communities is how everyone has welcomed me with open arms.  This community is incredibly close-knit, but yet they are willing to welcome me like I've been here for years...that's unique.  I've also noticed that the members of this community and the YMCA really want to make an impact in the community and want to make sure that the gracious feel of the community is still here for generations to come.  I've worked and lived in a few communities where that isn't the case anymore.  Fort Thomas really exemplifies the word "community".

FTM: What you would like to implement at the CC YMCA?

Swift: My vision for the CCY is that we continue to offer that same Fort Thomas community feel to all of our members and welcomed guests while building relationships outside of our walls that help us all create greater impact in our community and the communities surrounding Fort Thomas, through Kenton County and up to our northernmost communities of Bellevue and Dayton.

For more information on the YMCA, visit their website.  Also, be sure to take advantage of their many classes and upcoming programs.  Winter Youth basketball registration is now open (Fall league has already begun).  Also, if you’re not currently a member, come any Sunday in November or December from 12-6 for “Fun Day Sundays” where the YMCA is open to the community with special activities planned.  And finally, be on the lookout for signups for the Frostbite Five.  This annual five-mile race on New Year’s Day is a great way to get a jump start on your resolutions AND you can try to beat my husband (who placed second in his group last year).

Erin Swift Executive Director at CCYMCA

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