Mission-Minded Leadership: Dr. Scott Heinerichs Takes Helm of YMCA of Greater Brandywine Board

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WEST CHESTER, PA — The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) has entrusted the interim Board Chair position to Dr. Scott Heinerichs. Currently the Dean of the College of Health Sciences at West Chester University, Heinerichs’ move to the top of YGBW’s leadership table signals a pivotal moment for the organization that serves nearly 80,000 residents of Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Many know Heinerichs for his influential role in higher education and health sciences, but his journey with YGBW started in 2020. During this time, a series of meetings with YGBW leadership led to an exploration of partnership opportunities, fostering a relationship based on shared missions. The intersection of YGBW’s commitment to community strengthening, youth development, and healthy living, with Heinerichs’ own dedication to empower youth for the common good, was an alignment waiting to happen.

Heinerichs’ consequent appointment to YGBW board came with responsibilities that extended beyond December 2024, including roles in various committees like the CEO Search Committee, DEIB Committee and leading the Government Relations Taskforce.

Alongside Heinerichs’ significant appointment, YGBW welcomed nine additional board members to three-year terms: Hugh Alego, Michael Berardi, Eric Daugherty, Eric Gibson, Rodney Goldston, Radha Pyati, Praveen Shanbhag, Marisa Tilghman, and Michael Troupe. Bringing a broad spectrum of professional experience in education, healthcare, legal, marketing, finance, construction, facilities management, pharmaceuticals, and more, these new board members will collectively ensure that YGBW remains focused on its primary mission.

Bertram L. Lawson II, President & CEO of YGBW, spoke excitedly of the new appointments. He described board service as an important and prestigious opportunity and expressed sincere gratitude to the new board members for their shared time, talent, and resources.

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“Serving on our board of directors is an important and prestigious opportunity,” says Lawson. “Our board of directors work in partnership with my office to set our strategy to advance our mission. They work diligently to provide governance oversight for YGBW to ensure greater impact in Chester County.”

The celebratory news coincides with a remarkable statistic from YGBW’s volunteer engagement – a staggering 78,000 hours from 4,732 volunteers provided in 2023 to support the YGBW’s mission. Volunteers ranging from students to seniors fulfill a variety of necessary roles, including board members, coaches, event volunteers, and facilities volunteers.

“Volunteers support every corner of work that we do at YGBW,” shares Laura Milazzo Mackiewicz, Director of Volunteer Engagement. “Our organization aims to strengthen community through Healthy Living, Youth Development and Social Responsibility, which means that we offer a lot of different programs – and a lot of opportunities to get involved as a volunteer.”

To show their appreciation, YGBW will host its annual “Breakfast of Champions” volunteer appreciation event on April 25. In conjunction with National Volunteer Appreciation Month, the event will honor top contributors including The Chester County Chamber of Business of Industry, The Chester County Intermediate Unit, and Donna Urian.

In addition to the Breakfast of Champions, YGBW features quarterly volunteer appreciation events, and in a show of community spirit, collaborates with local organizations to offer free passes to local attractions this month, such as Longwood Gardens, The American Helicopter Museum, and Nemours Estate.

This surge of new energy and shared commitment to the community is a testament to YGBW’s mission-driven approach. With Dr. Scott Heinerichs at the helm, the future of YMCA of Greater Brandywine looks robust and full of promising synergy between health, education, and community development.

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