YMCA CEO Announces Retirement

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Eric Ellsworth Eric Ellsworth

Eric Ellsworth, president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, has announced plans to retire at the end of the year. The 63-year-old, Evansville native has served as CEO for nearly 13 years and has been with the YMCA throughout his career of 42 years.

A team led by Board Chair Jeffrey Harrison and representatives from YMCA of the USA will lead a national search to fill the position with aims to have a new CEO in place to lead the nation’s 19th largest YMCA association by January 2019. 

“I feel incredibly blessed to have served as the president of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. It has given me the opportunity to work in the area of my greatest passion, which is to help people grow in spirit, mind and body. I’ve been fortunate to have worked alongside some of the most dynamic, caring people on the planet. They have been my inspiration. It’s hard to fathom all the good work the Lord has allowed to take place over these years. I am looking forward to enjoying the next chapter together with my wife, Barb.”

Barbara Ellsworth retired earlier this year after nine years as the executive director of Dress for Success Indianapolis. 

Upon his retirement, the number of YMCAs in the Indianapolis area will have doubled from six to 12 during his tenure, and a campaign to build a Y in Westfield began earlier this year:

• Pike YMCA (2006 - will close in Dec.)
• Witham Family YMCA (2010)
• Hendricks Regional Health YMCA (2011)
• YMCA at the City Market (2011)
• Avondale Meadows YMCA (2013)
• Irsay Family YMCA at CityWay (2015)
• OrthoIndy Foundation YMCA (2018)
• Westfield YMCA (TBD)

Top initiatives and achievements under Ellsworth’s leadership:

• Doubled the number of Y members from 63,000 in 2005 to over 113,500 in 2018.
• Grew the association’s annual budget from $30 million to $55 million.
• Launched the Y for All financial assistance program to make YMCA memberships and programs available to more people through income-based pricing (2007).
• Launched the Top 10 Coalition (2012) with goals to reduce the burden of chronic disease and develop a culture of health in Central Indiana. Today, the coalition boasts more than 115 community partners.
• Introduced five Chronic Disease Prevention Programs - YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program (2009), LIVESTRONG at the YMCA (2012), Enhance Fitness Arthritis Management (2014), Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring (2016) and Moving for Better Balance Fall Prevention (2018).
• Led a coalition of providers to better meet the need for Early Childhood Learning in Central Indiana; opened five full-day YMCA Early Learning Centers since 2005 for a total of 11 programs with half-day and full-day options today.
• Added six new YMCAs and made major improvements and renovations to each of the other six in the association, including adding a new pool at the Benjamin Harrison YMCA.
• Began a 20-year Master Plan for Flat Rock River YMCA Camp in St. Paul, IN, this summer with a vision to make it the most sought-after overnight camp in Indiana.

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