Name: LeRoy Falcon
Where were you born and raised?
“I was born in Greenville, South Carolina but grew up in Slidell, Louisiana.”
What is your occupation?
“CEO/Executive Director YMCA of the Coosa Valley.”
What made you decide to work in your field?
“I was headed towards a career in coaching when I was encouraged to check out the opportunities of working for the YMCA. I was impressed with the overall scope of the organization and loved its mission. I served as a volunteer for three months and was hired soon after. I’ve worked for the YMCA for 30 years. I’ve seen many lives changed for the better through the wonderful work of our volunteers and staff.”
Tell us about your family and pets.
“We have one dog and my son has a room full of exotic lizards. I used to be an avid saltwater aquarium enthusiast and owner.”
Describe an average day in your life.
“Monday through Fridays include daily work at the YMCA, homework assistance in the evenings, I help manage some of the social media aspects of my daughter’s music career and do that late at night. Weekends often involve travel to assist with her concerts. My son is excelling in gymnastics so I’ll be attending gymnastic meets on weekends if I’m not at a concert with my daughter.”
What school or schools have you attended?
“Graduated from Slidell High School and graduated from LSU with a degree in Kinesiology.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“I’d like to fish more. I love to camp and I love overnight hikes with backpack camping. But honestly, most of my free time is spent helping my children with their interest and activities (music and gymnastics).”
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
“My wife and I have raised two children that are very responsible, honest and caring. I’m very proud of their early successes in their young lives.”
Name the one person that has been the most influential in your life. Why?
“I had a great football coach in high school, Tom Gainey. He was a wonderful coach. His life’s lessons through his coaching played a significant role in my desires to push through adversity and difficult times. Our teams overachieved and our success far exceeded our true athletic abilities because we believed. That’s something our world needs more of today. Hope, belief, confidence and love are so important in the development of our young people today.”
To what do you credit your success?
“I’m not a quitter and I see opportunity and hope when it is not so clear to others.”
Are you involved in any service organizations?
“I’m a member of the Kiwanis Club and I recently took a break from serving as a high school football official.”
What is your favorite thing about this community?
“It’s location relative to the larger cities in our state and surrounding states. I love the mountains; the lakes and the beach is not far from Gadsden. Our opportunities for outdoor recreation is incredible. I also love the people in our community. When I was in Louisiana helping my family with Hu-rricane Katrina recovery, most of the volunteers we encountered were from Alabama. That says a lot about the people of this state.”
What would you like to see change in the community?
“I’d love to see more emphasis on bike paths through our community. I’d love to see some development along our river that would encourage visitors from other cities to come to Gadsden. It would include a river walk with a large Ferris Wheel, ice cream shops, coffee shops, area for small outdoor concerts, etc. I’d love to see us become the Branson, Missouri of North Alabama. Our state and community is full of so many talented individuals. It would be great to capitalize and showcase these talents. I’d like to move Hwy. 411 away from the river and re-develop the area for tourism, shopping and emulate what other cities have done to capitalize on meaningful river front development. Intentional development to attract growth and development in our city. I think our city is slowly moving in this direction and the recent efforts to capitalize on our recreational opportunities is good.”
What are three words that describe you?
“Friendly, honest and sincere.”
What is something surprising that many do not know about you?
“My job and career require me to be very social and outgoing. I really prefer to be a listener more than a talker. I have a great appreciation and desire for quiet time. Maybe that is coming more with my age?”
What is your favorite quote?
“Carpe Diem – Seize the Day.”
What is on your bucket list?
“Cruise to Alaska – I would love to fish for salmon and camp in Alaska. I’d like to see the Northern Lights. I would love to do some cross country biking and I would love to hike a large portion of the Appalachian Trail. Attend the CMA’s to see my daughter get an award and see her perform at the Opry. I’d love to see my son perform in the Olympics. I would love to build a cabin in the woods to escape for rest and relaxation. I would love to be a land owner and I would love to be a farmer.”
What is your hidden talent?
“I play guitar, and I like to sing in the shower.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?
“The guy from Titanic – Leonardo?”
What advice would you give yourself as a child?
“Enjoy your childhood because it is going to go by fast. Remember those moments with your grandparents. Ask them lots of questions.”
If you would like to nominate someone for the People of Etowah column, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 256-547-1049.