The collaboration between the Fulton Family YMCA and the Oswego YMCA has a new executive director.
Greg Mills of Oswego will lead the two YMCAs starting July 29. To take the post, he will step down as a longtime board member of the Oswego YMCA and as assistant director of the Oswego Community Development office.
“I see the Y as being the foundation to bringing healthy lifestyles and opportunities to our community,” Mills said. “The Y helps people gain confidence in managing their health and overcoming anything that keeps them from living their lives to the fullest. Being a part of that is powerful. I don’t think there’s a more ideal place for me to be.”
Fulton Family YMCA Board Chairman Steve Osborne said both Fulton and Oswego will benefit from Mills’ experience and passion. “He’s steeped in the Y spirit,” Osborne said. “He really does have a vision of both Ys as a true force for good in the community. He knows that the job is to make both Ys stronger. That’s going to be good for our Y and our community.”
Oswego YMCA Board Chairman Michael Segretto said he’s excited about Mills’ appointment. “He’s well versed on both Oswego and Fulton, and that’s what we needed,” Segretto said. “He brings to the table over 20 years of banking and nonprofit experience. I think he’s a great pick.”
The Fulton Family YMCA, the Oswego YMCA and the YMCA of Greater Syracuse have signed a one-year agreement to work together to serve the Fulton and Oswego communities. Under the agreement, the two Oswego County YMCAs will share administrative services and key staff. Each YMCA will retain its own board, its own finances and its own identity.
Under the agreement, Mills is employed by the YMCA of Greater Syracuse and reports to the boards of both the Fulton and Oswego YMCAs. Mills said he plans to divide his time equally between the two Ys. His first job, he said, is to create a joint leadership team and to help all employees find their niche within the collaboration. “
There’s an opportunity for people to look at their jobs and identify where they feel they’re best suited,” he said. “There will be more opportunities.”
Through its strong relationship with the YMCA of Greater Syracuse and its CEO, Hal Welsh, the new coalition will have access to expertise, programs and other resources that can help it better meet community needs, Mills said.
“Bringing two agencies together that have the same mission is very positive for both communities,” Mills said. “The Syracuse Y has people who can make those efforts much more productive and successful. This is an opportunity for us to be mentored by a successful organization. At the end of this year, we’ll be a better organization, a better YMCA.”
Welsh said he will work with Mills to create a growth strategy plan for both YMCAs. The plan will help the Ys reach their fiscal objectives and position them as community leaders in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Working in Mills’ favor are his commitment to health, his many local connections, and his more than 20 years of experience in the areas of banking, community development, writing and administering grants and facilities management, Welsh said.
Mills earned a management degree with a concentration in marketing from the State University of New York at Geneseo. He first came to Oswego in 1989 as a branch manager for Columbia Bank. In 1992, Mills began a 13-year career with Pathfinder Bank, where he served as vice president of market development. He later served as a financial consultant, banker and sales representatives for firms in Oswego and Wayne counties before returning to Oswego in 2011 to work in the city’s Community Development Office.
Mills has a history of volunteer service, including service on the Oswego County Planning Board and boards of directors for the Oswego County Historical Society, the United Way of Oswego County and Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County, among others. He currently serves on the Oswego County advisory board for ARISE and the Oswego Children’s Museum board.