Southington YMCA welcomes new CEO

Published on Monday, 5 November 2018 19:20


SOUTHINGTON - The Southington-Cheshire Community YMCAs announced that Mark Pooler will serve as the new Chief Executive Officer, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

Pooler will succeed John Myers, who has worked for the local Y for the past 31 years and served as executive director for 21 years. Myers will retire at the end of December as previously announced.

Pooler said that he is “honored and beyond excited” to be selected.

“This YMCA has a rich history of cause-driven and values based leadership and I hope to continue that tradition,” he said. “Our YMCA plays an instrumental role in strengthening the foundation of our communities and we are blessed to have so many great volunteers, staff, donors, members and community partners to help us fulfill our mission. I am humbled and honored to serve as the next leader of this great organization.”

Pooler thanked the selection board for conducting a “thorough search process” as well as his parents, Robert and Patricia, for providing him with a “foundation of good values and a strong work ethic.”

“I have had many amazing role models and mentors along the way that have helped me become the leader I am today,” said Pooler.

Pooler also thanked John Myers, the late Doug McLeod, Ralph Mann, Joe LaPorte, Dr. Bob Jacob and other YMCA and YMCA Camp Sloper staff and volunteers, his wife Dawn Pooler and his children Matthew and Abby for their support.

Pooler currently serves as Director of Operations at the Southington Community YMCA, a position he has had for the past three years. Pooler has worked at the Southington Community YMCA in a variety of positions since 1990 including youth development work with sports, child care and camp programming. In 1996 he became the Y’s Youth Program Director and in 2000 was promoted as the Y’s Outdoor Center Director for YMCA Camp Sloper

“We evaluated dozens of candidates from across the country, both inside and outside of the YMCA network, during our search for a new CEO,” said Paul Bedard, Chair of the CEO Selection Committee. “Mark not only stood out as proven and respected local YMCA leader, he convincingly proved through an open and highly competitive selection process that he is absolutely the right leader to build upon the great work being performed by our YMCA in order to maximize our YMCA’s ability to support the ongoing needs of our community.”

Bedard added that Pooler is a “living embodiment of the YMCA’S core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

“Over the 28 years of his career that Mark has dedicated to our YMCA, Mark has consistently displayed an unwavering commitment to bettering the lives of our YMCA’s staff, members and volunteers while also selflessly working to enhance the quality of life within our overall community,” he said.

Y Board President Dan Daigle said that Pooler was at the top of the list for candidates.

“I am excited that Mark will be leading our YMCA and bringing all his talents to the community that he has already given so much to,” he said.

Pooler highlighted several areas that he will focus on in his new position, including membership, child care and the Y’s day camp.

“I will continue to recruit, train, develop, motivate and appreciate our dedicated staff members so that we will produce high-end results for our members and guests,” he said. “I will also focus on growing our community partnerships to assist with addressing critical community needs. I will also work on cultivating a larger pool of engaged and committed volunteers at the program, committee and board levels in Southington, Cheshire and YMCA Camp Sloper. I will focus on sustaining and expanding our fundraising efforts so we can continue our great work in helping those in need or in time of crisis.”

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, General News, Southington Herald on Monday, 5 November 2018 19:20. Updated: Monday, 5 November 2018 19:22.