July 17th, 2024

New CEO takes the helm at YWCA

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman on June 15, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

After an extensive search, the Board of Directors Hiring Committee of YWCA Lethbridge and District has appointed Jill Young as the new Chief Executive Officer.
“This process of working with the board and the hiring committee has been wonderful,” said Young.
She said she spent the last 16 years in Edmonton and has recently moved to Lethbridge.
She is now getting acquainted with the community and surrounding southern Alberta.
“Everybody has welcomed me with open arms, the process has been just lovely, very open, very transparent, lots of great conversation about where everybody wants to take the YWCA here in Lethbridge and it’s been a fantastic process,” said Young.
She said the last week has been a whirlwind but the benefit of coming in now is that the team at the YWCA is an aligned and collaborative team that has the same mission, which is to empower women and to give a voice to their clients.
“Everybody wants to see this community thrive,” said Young.
A proven leader in business operations, Young brings extensive experience to her position as YWCA Lethbridge’s CEO.
She has nearly 20 years of experience in leadership and multi-million dollar business operations, venue management, and hospitality, most recently as a director with Oilers Entertainment Group where she was responsible for strategic planning, financial operations, and community engagement.
Notable recent events include the 2020 NHL Hub City Playoff Bubble and the 2021 and 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.
“My original education is a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology of all things, so it’s been quite a path and a journey from that type of background in education and where I am today,” said Young.
She said the path has been so versatile that it has given her many different opportunities and perspectives from different organizations, companies and people along the way, which has really helped to round out the experience that she hopes to bring to the YWCA.
“I’m looking to come in and re-establish the foundation of the YWCA here in Lethbridge and by foundation, I mean looking at how we are interacting with the community, what our impact is, what our mission, vision and values are,” said Young.
She said the foundation needs to be re-established because of COVID over the last couple of years, and because of some different fluctuations through leadership and challenges in the community the YWCA has really not had the opportunity to thrive and grow.
“I’m coming in taking a look at those programs, the mission, vision and values to empower women.
” How are those programs that we’re delivering actually achieving that mission and how are we interacting with the community?” said Young.
She and interim CEO, Tracy James, met with the City of Lethbridge, Lethbridge Police, YWCA staff, the surrounding neighbourhood association, and partnering non-profit organizations to acknowledge the breakdown in communication that occurred in the past and to set clear objectives moving forward. 
“What I have learned in the four days that I’ve been here, is that there’s already a fantastic relationship between the City of Lethbridge and the YWCA and all the other support services, but we can continue to grow those relationships and really move together almost as one, so that we can create a huge unity for those in need of our services,” said Young.

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