Today, the Down East Family YMCA has announced that their long-time CEO, Peter Farragher has shared his plans to retire on January 31, 2023. Peter has served the YMCA, its members, and the communities it services for over 24 years.
During his tenure, the YMCA has grown to host programs in five buildings and support three connected, but separate down east communities: Ellsworth, Blue Hill, and, most recently, Bucksport. Under his guidance the Down East Family YMCA has grown annual support for services and facilities year over year, with a record-breaking annual campaign in 2021, and completed several successful capital campaigns. Among them a 2011 capital campaign to fund the renovation of the Wiggin’s Center and the full renovation of the Ellsworth pool to modernize air handling and infrastructure in 2020.
Peter and his staff have also worked hard to adapt to a changing world and business needs, innovating organizational structure to maximize donor and community support. Most recently partnering with the Old Town YMCA to hire a Chief Financial Officer and Director of Development in shared roles for the two organizations.
Along with fitness and recreation investments and expansions, under Peter’s leadership, the YMCA changed access to childcare and child enrichment services for the people of Ellsworth. These changes included the purchase and launch of Camp Discovery, a popular and well attended day camp, and the expansion of year-round childcare services in Ellsworth, in partnership with the City of Ellsworth and The Jackson Laboratory. It is, perhaps, the effect on the lives of so many children and families, that will reflect his legacy for years to come.
“Peter has such a genuine passion for the YMCA. Through his leadership the YMCA has grown immensely and provided great experiences for countless families in our community. We wish him and his wife Nancy the very best in retirement.” said Rob Shea, board president.
In a letter shared with the board of directors, Peter stated, “Timing of decisions such as this is always difficult, however our Y’s senior management team is strong, our board is absolutely incredible and most importantly, it is time that I now dedicate myself to Nancy and our future. Throughout my career, my wife has always been supportive of every aspect that the Y job demands, and it is now time to look forward to spending more time together – with places to go and things to see and as always projects to build while enjoying our retirement years.”
The Down East Family YMCA will work closely with the National YMCA office to determine next steps and launch a search for the new director over the next several months.