Darbo to head local YMCA


The YMCA of the Coosa Valley recently named Heidi Darbo as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer. Selected by the YMCA Board of Directors, Darbo succeeds LeRoy Falcon, who stepped down in July to take over a YMCA community in Mississippi after 15 years in Gadsden.
Darbo will be responsible for launching the new “Y Without Walls” concept, which focuses on developing and growing programs that are not confined to a particular location.
“During our search for a new CEO, we determined we needed someone with a unique set of skills as we launch our new vision,” said Coosa Valley YMCA Board of Managers Chairman Ed Howard. “Heidi’s experience and passion for the YMCA of the Coosa Valley is exactly what we were looking for in a leader. Her experience in non-profit development and her passion for creating community impact convinced us that the YMCA of Coosa Valley will have fantastic leadership for years to come. We are very pleased that Heidi has joined us again.”
Darbo previously served as marketing director for the Coosa Valley YMCA after having served as Regional Development Director for the American Heart Association for eight years.
“I’m thrilled to return home to the YMCA of the Coosa Valley,” said Darbo. “It fills me with joy to know that the Y will live on through my family and many other families who enjoy and need its support. The YMCA has always been a safe place that nurtures and strengthens families and communities and we will continue to do so.”
With over a decade of non-profit leadership experience, Darbo has a proven track record of continued growth within the communities she serves. While optimistic about the future of the Y programming, she recognizes the feeling of loss many have with the closing of the brick-and-mortar location in downtown Gadsden.
“While the previous location served our community well for many years, the needs of our area are changing,” she said. “The YMCA’s commitment to our communities extends beyond the walls of a building. I, with the support of the board of directors, want to focus our efforts on how we can work best with the community we are blessed to serve.”
Darbo is currently working on the action plan for current growth while building long-term sustainability of the YMCA’s programming.
She is looking forward to working with local leaders to develop programs that will serve as tools that will embrace the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility while being dedicated to giving people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity.
In addition to working with community leaders, the YMCA is creating a community needs survey that will be published soon via the organization’s website and social media.
“I believe that everyone has a voice in the future of the new YMCA model, and I hope many will let us know how we can best serve them and this area,” said Darbo.
For more information about “Y Without Walls” or to volunteer with the YMCA, contact Heidi Darbo at ceoymcacoosavalley@gmail.com.

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