YWCA CEO resigns, leadership group focused on future

YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County CEO Melissa Leathery has submitted her resignation, according to a press release from the organization. Leathery joined the YW in July 2023.

The YW has named an interim leadership team, the release states. The team includes YWCA Advocacy Director Nancy Lilley, Board Chair Lyne Aurand, Vice Chair Julie Haller, board members Linda Raymond and Carrie Soliday, and community volunteers Kurt Kramer, Jane Lordeman, and Denise Wood.

YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County

Soliday said the organization is deferring the selection of a new CEO while it evaluates its programs and services. The organization is working with Helix Strategies LLC to “right-size the YW.”

“Even with the challenges facing us, we have a great opportunity to evaluate what programs and services would really meet the needs of the community and serve our mission, and to determine how we can meet those needs in vibrant, yet cost-effective, ways,” Soliday said.

Soliday said the YWCA is still grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and several recent leadership changes. Since longtime Executive Director Deb Geesey retired in 2019 after 12 years in the position, three people have been hired for the top position as well as two interim directors.

Soliday expressed appreciation to the Sharon Trew Cline Magraw Foundation and YWCA USA for funding Helix Strategies’ work. 

Positive news

YWCA leaders touted several recent accomplishments that they deem positive that are helping them stay focused on the organization’s future. 

  • The Hallmark Sponsorship Campaign will be launched on Jan 31st.
  • Registration for the Swim to Inner Harbor, Aquatic Fitness Challenge opens in March.
  • The YW Sharks Swim Team is undefeated.
  • Membership has returned to pre-Covid numbers.
  • Human Resources is exploring new payroll software.
  • Maintenance/custodial staff positions have been filled.
  • Three lifeguards were recently hired.
  • The fitness room is fully staffed.
  • The YWCA was awarded a Wellspan Health Inspire grant to purchase equipment for youth programs. 
  • The YWCA Childcare program, a 4 star-Keystone STARS-rated program was awarded a $6,500 grant for staff training. 

“With hard work, perseverance, and community support we will continue to grow! We are determined!” Soliday said.

For the latest YW news, visit ywcagettysburg.org.

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​Alex J. Hayes, Editor, has spent almost two decades in the Adams County news business. He is heavily involved in the community through his volunteer roles at the Rotary Club of Gettysburg, Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, United Way of Adams County, and Healthy Adams County. Alex is also a freelance writer for several other publications in South Central Pennsylvania.
Alex encourages readers to contact him at ahayes83@gmail.com.

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Elmer Shelton
Elmer Shelton
2 months ago

There was much bad press when the former Director of the YWCA was unceremoniously forced out of her position, after a short tenure. Less than a year later and another Director departure and not a peep. – As a former employee of the YWCA, I left because the YWCA closed its childcare program at the 909 Fairfield Road location. Staff was dragged along for months before finding out of they were going to be asked to stay on at the Adams Commerce location. The former Director had wanted to merge the two childcare programs and that decision was met with… Read more »

Nancy Cook
Nancy Cook
2 months ago

I applaud the team that is reviewing and creatively looking at our YWCA goals and future. Remembering how this organization began at 8 Lincoln Square with women that saw a need in our community. We must continue the work and mission of this non profit and its support for all! The pool provides a healthy life long skill for our residents and the childcare component is essential for parents to maintain jobs in Adams County. There are numerous benefits too many to list but look at the big picture and think what the Gettysburg area would be like if the… Read more »

Jim Meyer
Jim Meyer
2 months ago

The YWCA has priced my family out of the ability to pay for their services, sad but true. We can not afford their membership any more.

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