MARIETTA - A longtime veteran of the YMCA has stepped into lead the Marietta Family YMCA into its next phase of operations.
Suzy Zumwalde, a Cincinnati native and 1989 graduate of Marietta College, took the position of executive director at the end of October.
Karen Weaver, president of the YMCA board of directors, said Zumwalde brings a wealth of experience to the job. Zumwalde has spent 21 years with the YMCA, and has worked with facilities in New Hampshire and south Texas, as well as her last assignment as CEO and executive director of the Marysville, Ohio, YMCA.
For years the Marietta Family YMCA has been a staple in the community of providing quality athletic programs for area youth that are focused more on learning the game than winning and losing. Under new direction with Zumwalde, the Marietta Y is looking to continue that mission, just with a different focus.
Marietta Family YMCA has has approximately 2,600 members, including 1,250 family units.
While the YMCA is sticking with the programs that have been strong, it is also looking to expand and find new programs to incorporate area children.
One possibility the YMCA is looking at is the increasingly popularity of volleyball.
Girls volleyball in high school is becoming a popular draw as area teams have been enjoying considerable success. This past fall the Marietta Lady Tigers had the second best record in all of Ohio Div. II while Warren and Waterford advanced to the district tournament.
In past years, the YMCA has offered an adult volleyball league, and the sport could be a nice addition to the Y's lineup. The YMCA is also looking at possibly bringing back the tee-ball program prior to the summer season to help teach the basics of the game.
The Y also offers peewee basketball, for 3- 5-year-olds, and kiddie kicker soccer.
Officials also remain optimistic the Y can still get a new facility, but said those plans are on hold for now. The Y's current facility was built in 1953.
Former executive director Al Miller pursued plans for a new facility at various locations. One of the latest, at Indian Acres Park, received resistance from some members of Marietta City Council due to the proximity to the city's water well fields.
It was later learned the Marietta City Board of Education was planning to seek a bond levy to build an educational complex on property along Colegate Drive. The Y board had discussed the possibility of locating the YMCA at the proposed school site, but a bond issue to fund the new educational facilities was defeated by school district voters during the 2009 general election.