YMCA of Greater Brandywine Honors Employees, Commits to Community Growth

Celebration of Excellence,Submitted Image

WEST CHESTER, PA — The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) recently held its annual Celebration of Excellence, honoring dedicated employees and recommitting to its community-focused mission. The event, hosted at the Mendenhall Inn, also had a separate celebration at the Chester County Intermediate Unit for childcare staff.

The Celebration of Excellence is a yearly tradition that recognizes employees who have shown exceptional dedication to YGBW’s mission of promoting youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. This year, the organization honored four employees—Dawn Bennett, Alde Marshall, Kristy Cornman, and Patricia Lebresco—for their significant contributions. In addition, nine employees were named Employee of the Year at their respective branches, while 13 childcare team members received the coveted Character Award.

In a poignant tribute to longevity and commitment, YGBW also acknowledged 47 employees who have served the organization for at least five years, marking a collective 500 years of service. Natalie Gallon-Garcia, Chief Human Resources Officer, remarked on the unique culture within the organization, stating, “We are mission-driven, flexible, and compassionate. When you work in a caring environment like ours, employees want to stick around.”

As one of Chester County’s largest employers, YGBW contributes significantly to the local economy. The organization employs 1,800 full-time and part-time workers across nine branches and program centers and its association office in West Chester. In 2023 alone, YGBW contributed over $26.3 million back to the Chester County economy through payroll expenses.

President and CEO, Bertram L. Lawson II, emphasized the crucial role staff play in the organization’s success. He said, “Our employees are the heartbeat of our organization. Without our staff, we cannot serve our members and our community.” He added that the organization prioritizes employee engagement, staff development, and fostering a culture of caring.

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Looking ahead, YGBW is gearing up for summer and has a pressing need for lifeguards and camp counselors. The organization also has year-round vacancies for teachers, aides, and assistants. To facilitate the hiring process, YGBW will host a career fair at the Upper Main Line YMCA in Berwyn on May 4, 2024.

Lawson, who began his own career as a camp counselor nearly three decades ago, encouraged job seekers to consider the opportunities at YGBW. He said, “The Y is a great place to build a career, and I encourage you to come see what we have to offer.”

The Celebration of Excellence was a remarkable testament to the indispensable role that the YMCA plays within Chester County. Not only does it serve as a vital employer and invaluable community resource, but it also stands as a beacon of inspiration for countless individuals. This event was an opportunity to pay tribute to the committed and hardworking individuals who embody the organization’s noble mission. It was a platform to shine a spotlight on the YMCA’s unwavering commitment to fostering community growth, nurturing individual development, and promoting a culture of inclusivity and empowerment.

YGBW Career Fair: https://ymcagbw.org/events/community-events/upper-main-line-ymca/ygbw-career-fair
Careers at YGBW: https://ymcagbw.org/about/careers
About YGBW: https://ymcagbw.org/about-us

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