YMCA National News

YMCA Tauranga announces new CEO

December 6, 2011

Bringing over 35 years of forestry, outdoor recreation and environmental education to the role, Ric is passionate about helping local communities, clubs and organizations thrive in their efforts to get kids and families actively engaged in the outdoors.

Announcing Ric’s appointment, President Kevin Kerr explained that the YMCA Tauranga’s Board undertook an extensive search to ensure a suitable candidate was found.

“We received applications from all around the world,” Kerr said. “In hindsight we needn’t have looked further than Tauranga to find the right candidate.  Ric’s passion for his projects, enthusiasm for his work, and ideas for the YMCA came shining through.  We believe he will build on the work Amy did during her tenure and take the Y to even greater heights.”

Ric comes to the YMCA having been the TECT All Terrain Park Manager for Western Bay of Plenty District Council since January 2008.  Prior to that he lived in Oregon, USA, for 19 years where he worked with state agencies, local government and small non-profits with great success.  As Director of Forestry Education for the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, Ric coordinated statewide environmental education programmes, teacher training, and natural resource training programmes for landowners and professionals. As Oregon’s first Public Use Coordinator, he was responsible for establishing recreation, education, and interpretation programmes across 850,000 acres of Oregon Department of Forestry lands. 

Departing CEO Amy Thaler says she is thrilled to be handing the Y over to Ric.  “I have worked hard over the last four years to position the YMCA Tauranga for the long haul and Ric’s appointment is the icing on the cake really. I can now leave with a clear conscience knowing that more great things are on the horizon with Ric at the helm.”

Ric explains that he is looking forward to starting his new role. “I’m so excited about leading an organisation of the YMCA’s calibre and about exploring new ways to make it the nexus between community, education and recreation in the region.”

A resident of Welcome Bay, Ric lives with his wife Holly and two daughters Fiona (10) and Lillian (7) and will start at the Y in March of 2012.

About YMCA Tauranga                                         

To us, it’s all about showing your spirit. Ask yourself, when was the last time you showed yours?Most people hold tightly onto theirs, often too shy to release it. Some people let their spirit run wild, and sometimes have to rein it in- and we meet tonnes of people who have just never been shown how to find theirs. You also get the occasional person who reckons they are just saving their spirit for later. At the YMCA we work with people to help find their spirit, so they can make the most of their experience and unleash their potential on the world around them.

For more information on this release contact:

Amy Thaler, (07) 579 6539


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78 year old YMCA North Shore Instructutor awarded QSM

January 10, 2013

For more than 50 years Lynette Thornton has worked with mainly elderly people to help them to better their health. But at 78 she is looking to slow down a bit and "maybe do three days a week" instead of five. Mrs Thornton, who may be New Zealand's most experienced fitness instructor, said she was "flabbergasted" by her Queen's Service Award. It recognises her near six decades in the fitness industry.

YMCA Nelson Boxing Gym receives Award

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Former National YMCA President Awarded QSM

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It is with great delight that Claire Ballantyne has been awarded a QSM for services to ophthalmology and to the community.

National CEO Announces Resignation

June 5, 2012

Ric Odom, National CEO, YMCA New Zealand has today announced his resignation. Ric joined the YMCA in September 2003 and has provided dedicated service and leadership since, working tirelessly to promote the YMCA as a significant and trusted community organisation.