Business & Finance

Darrell Johnson, Outgoing YMCA CEO, Leaves Enduring Legacy

January 17, 2014 at 2:12 PM

SUMMIT, NJ - Darrell Johnson may be leaving the Summit Area YMCA and the Summit area itself, but the outgoing CEO's legacy of relationships, solid financial footing, and innovative programs will endure long after his departure.

Johnson's retirement, effective today, concludes a 32-year career with the YMCA, which began with his hiring  at the Philadelphia YMCA in 1982.  After teaching science for nine years, Johnson joined the camp program there, which began his rise to Vice President and, later, his appointment as CEO of the New Orleans YMCA.
Even pre-Katrina, the New Orleans Y was on tenuous financial footing.  "There wasn't a long line for that job," said Johnson.  With the organization nearly bankrupt, Johnson and his team worked diligently to stabilize the operation, only to then see the hurricane devastate the city.  After weathering the financial and literal storm in Louisiana, Johnson learned of the opportunity at the YMCA in Summit, and applied as he and his wife both had family in the area.
 
Unlike the New Orleans situation, Johnson "inherited a solid organization, literally at the opposite end of the spectrum,'" but his hiring in November of 2008 coincided with the onset of the nation's financial crisis and the arrival of several high-profile fitness chain locations, the combination of which put a significant financial dent in the Summit Y's bottom line.
 

Johnson stabilized the Y's finances through some "difficult and painful" cost-cutting, some of which involved the elimination of staff.  Since that time, the Y has developed myriad new programs and created strong, sustainable financial footing.
 
"Our biggest challenge has been, and i believe continues to be, communicating -- and making sure folks understand -- that we are a not for profit, that we are not simply a gym and swim business" said Johnson.  He points out that a relatively low percentage of the Y's 12,000 members actively donate to the organization, and that nearly 30% of participants in many of the Y's youth programs, including childcare, receive scholarships.
 
There have been many current flagship programs began and-or elevated during Johnson's tenure, including The 7th Grade Initiative, the LIVESTRONG program, Healthy U., and Darkness to Light, to name just a few.
 
"All you have to do is come to the Y on a Saturday morning to see what makes it so special," Johnson noted.  "It is that 'Sense of Place", where you see the entire community represented.  It is something I am not sure exists anywhere else in Summit."
 
Johnson and his wife are retiring to Black Mountain, NC, just outside of Ashevile.  There, he has renovated a vacation home into their new permanent residence, and where he hopes to lower his golf scores.  He also looks forward to indulging two other interests, travel and, yes, beekeeping.  "I had my beekeeping going well here, and then the bears came to Summit," he concluded, with a tinge of angst.
 
He states the toughest part of leaving the Y is leaving the organization's 110 full-time and 550 total staff, whom he calls "tremendously dedicated, highly competent servant leaders."  He was especially proud that, during Hurricane Sandy, "I did not have to tell our staff what to do, they just did it."
 
"If I had to point to my main success, it is that we have assembled the right people, gave them the resources to be successful, and that they embraced the culture which we stand for.  The Summit Y has been here for 128 years, and I know it will be here 128 years from now."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Summit

January Update

January 19, 2017

Dear Summit Neighbor,

I hope you are having a wonderful start to the New Year. With 2017 in full swing, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide a progress update on some activities in town. 

1. The Winter Farmer’s Market has arrived. Held at Calvary Church every Saturday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., there is a great selection of fresh produce and locally prepared ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_dca9c537a6179527e482_trx

Sat, January 21, 8:00 AM

The Connection, Summit

TRX Core

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_bd37898e032bac06e6b4_371fc5cf8d8c357dbfd0_76b7f922a204345de300_stem_saturdays

Sat, January 21, 9:30 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

STEM Saturdays

Education

Carousel_image_c3716a2d78a9e5f3a056_restorative_yoga

Sat, January 21, 3:00 PM

The Connection, Summit

Restorative Yoga Workshop

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness

Summit Fire Department Blotter

Dec. 1, 2016 0233 - Units responded to a motor vehicle accident with injuries and an overturned vehicle with possible extrication. Incident located at mm 10 Route 24, West.  Springfield and Millburn FD also on scene.  Summit provided a safety block, and for scene safety and assisted with securing vehicles.  

Dec. 5, 2016 at 12:25 - Units dispatched to a PARK AVE apartment for a ...

Summit Police Blotter

January 9, 2017

12/24 - Nelson Collazo-Moreno, 25, of Summit was arrested for driving while intoxicated. Mr. Moreno was released with a pending court date.

01/01 - At 1323 hours a report was taken for a theft from a Springfield Avenue apartment complex. The maroon colored “Exit” sign had been removed sometime between 1800 hours on 12/31/16 and 1300 hours on 01/01/17. The approximate value of ...

Video: Point View's Dietze Says Beware of Headwinds in 'Market Call' Appearance

January 20, 2017

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President, and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, answers audience questions on BNN's 'Market Call':

bnn.ca

Point View Wealth Management, Inc. works with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and comprehensive financial planning, to develop and achieve their financial ...

Christine Murphy Welcomed as Newest Sales Associate at Lois Schneider Realtor

Lois Schneider Realtor’s top producing sales team welcomes Christine Murphy, our newest sales associate. Christine started with Lois Schneider Realtor in 2013 as a licensed sales assistant to one of the company’s top producing teams. She and her husband have been residents of Summit since 2001 with their three children, all of whom attend or have graduated from Summit Public Schools.

Closed Fund Open Mind

Closed-end funds (CEFs) can play an important role in a diversified investment portfolio. They offer benefits similar to those of an open-end mutual fund, but also sport unique advantages.  

Unlike a traditional open-end mutual fund, CEFs have a fixed number of shares available to trade. Their price is not tied to the value of the underlying portfolio. The only way the number of shares ...

Raising The 'Bar' When Celebrating Life's Milestone Moments

The renovation of the event space at the historic Grand Summit Hotel in Summit was directly aimed at creating a lighter, brighter, more welcoming space that would promote a party atmosphere inherent to the wedding and Bar / Bat Mitzvah and wedding celebration. The results have been embraced by the Hotel's very loyal clientele, as indicated by the strong repeat activity in the large social ...

Step Right Up

Let’s make America the Greatest Show on Earth Again.

 

I was very sad to learn that after 146 years of big-top entertainment the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding its tent and leaving town.

 

This comes a year after the circus, due to mounting pressures from animal rights activists, got rid of the elephants.

 

It is not really ...