YMCA will welcome new head July 1

  • Graydon Vigneau Jr. will take the helm at the Greenfield YMCA on July 1. Longtime Executive Director Bob Sunderland will retire June 30. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 5/20/2019 11:56:15 PM

GREENFIELD — After 32 years, the YMCA will have a new executive director when Bob Sunderland retires. Graydon Vigneau Jr. will take his place.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Vigneau said. “The first challenge will be to figure out how not only to bring the community to the Y, but how to bring the Y to the community.”

Vigneau said he will first get to know his staff and learn more about the county. Then, he said, he’ll start creating his vision for the future.

“We’re going to build off of the wonderful work Bob has done all these years,” he said.

Sunderland, who has been executive director since 1987, announced last year that he planned to retire in 2019.

YMCA board President Andrew Killeen said Vigneau was selected for his experience as a nonprofit leader. He said he has demonstrated success in creating community partnerships.

The YMCA has been searching for a new leader since Dec. 2018. Candidates from both inside and outside the organization were considered, according to Killeen. The board approved Vigneau on April 30.

Killeen said Vigneau has an extensive business background, with an master’s degree in finance and a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

Since 2017, Vigneau, who was born and raised in Brattleboro, Vt. and spent a lot of time with his grandparents in Turners Falls and Greenfield, has served as founding owner of Mission Centric Consulting, a firm that creates “sustainable opportunities” for independent schools, nonprofits and small businesses. He has also served as head of school and chief executive officer at Bridgton Academy in Maine, and was founding owner and executive director of programming, sales and marketing at Round Hearth at Stowe in Vermont, where he established a year-round student and youth group lodging and programming facility.

“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead the YMCA in Greenfield as its new CEO.” Vigneau said. “Carrying on Bob Sunderland’s three decades of good work will be a challenge, but it is one to which our team will surely look forward.”

Vigneau said he will listen to the community and find out what people are looking for from the YMCA. Then, he work on what can be done.

“I’m excited to be a part of something so permanent,” he said. “The YMCA will change and grow, yes, but it will have the same vibrancy, culture.”

Vigneau said he will begin July 1.

“I have every confidence in Grady’s abilities, and I believe he is going to be a great asset to Franklin County, at the helm of one of its cornerstone organizations,” Killeen said. “He is an exciting person, and I believe we are fortunate to have him as our next YMCA CEO.”

Vigneau said everything needs to start locally, including with institutions like the YMCA, if things are going to change globally.

“We need to engage our young people,” he said. “That’s something the YMCA will continue to do.”

Killeen said Sunderland has done a commendable job stewarding the YMCA community for more than 30 years, and has left it in a strong position for Vigneau.

When Sunderland arrived in fall 1987, the YMCA was in debt to local vendors, had not paid any principal on a 1970 mortgage and was three years behind in Y-USA dues.

“Thanks to the hard work of hundreds of staff and thousands of members and loyal donors, over my time at the Y we are now debt-free,” Sunderland said.

Retirement dinner

A retirement dinner for Sunderland will be held Thursday, June 13, at 6 p.m. at Terrazza Restaurant at the Country Club of Greenfield.

Tickets are $20 per person. Contact Tina Newton to purchase tickets at 413-773-3546, ext. 411. The last day to purchase them is June 3. Seating is limited.

A retirement open house will be held at the YMCA on Wednesday, June 26, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906


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