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Dryades YMCA director to retire after four decades of service

27th January 2014   ·   0 Comments

After 43 years of service to the mission and values of the Dryades YMCA, President and CEO Douglas Evans has officially notified his Board of Directors and other key leadership that he will retire effective February 28, 2014.

Of his time with the organization, Evans says “it has been the most satisfying and rewarding experience of my professional life.”

The Dillard University alum recalls a number of unique opportunities and proud accomplishments he shares with the dedicated staff, namely sustaining and expanding the over 100-year legacy of this historic institution; providing leadership and services to address critical community issues of education, anti-crime, youth development, early childhood development, and rebuilding and modernizing the organization’s physical infrastructure to better serve future generations.

“I look forward to what the future holds for the Dryades YMCA, and there is still more work to do to make sure this organization continues to serve and positively impact the children and families who depend on it,” Evans said.

Under Evans’ leadership, programs such as the Early Childhood Education Center, School of Com­merce and James Singleton Charter School have thrived; in addition to innovative programs such as Summer Enrichment, Midnight Basketball, and “Black Achievers in Business and In­dustry.” The YMCA hosts a variety of community activities, including job fairs, political forums and food giveaways.

Evans was at the helm of the organization and led a massive fundraising effort to rebuild the Dryades YMCA after it burned down in a devastating fire in February 2000. Programs were shifted to local churches with little or no interruption. The effort yielded $1.5 million to rebuild the facility, which reopened its doors in July 2005. Most recently, he led the effort to build the 22,000 square foot Aquatics and Wellness Center at the YMCA. The facility features state-of- the-art cardio and strength training equipment as well as a 75-foot, six-lane indoor pool to offer more opportunities for healthier living.

The Dryades YMCA, which continues to be a hub providing hope to the residents in Central City, will announce its new president and CEO at a later date.

This article originally published in the January 27, 2014 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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