Posted on 08/22/2018 at 10:00 AM by YMCA of Greater Des Moines
DES MOINES, Iowa – (Aug. 22, 2018) – The YMCA of Greater Des Moines today announced the hiring of Leisha Barcus as president and CEO of the organization.
Barcus, a business executive and nonprofit leader with nearly 30 years of experience in the community, becomes the first woman to serve as CEO in the 150-year history of the Des Moines YMCA. She was selected from a large field of applicants to succeed Dave Schwartz, who resigned earlier this year.
As president and CEO, Barcus will oversee all aspects of the Y’s operations, including membership, financial sustainability, fundraising, programming, community engagement and staff development. The YMCA of Greater Des Moines, founded in 1868, is one of the community’s largest and best-known nonprofit organizations, with 10 branch locations and an annual budget in excess of $20 million.
Since 2015, Barcus has been director of the Comfort Center for Women at Mercy Medical Center, leading the development and launch of the $13 million, 34,000-square-foot medical center focused on the needs of midlife women. She had previously served as vice president of community engagement for the Science Center of Iowa, where her accomplishments included the development and implementation of strategic plans designed to increase membership and volunteers. As executive director of Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation, Barcus spearheaded a successful $5 million capital campaign and managed the restoration of the 1,200-seat historic theater and public art gallery. She also held leadership positions with Kum & Go L.C., Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, the Greater Des Moines Partnership and the state Department of Economic Development.
Jim Usgaard, chair-elect of the board of directors of the YMCA of Greater Des Moines, led the committee charged with hiring the Y’s new president and CEO. The committee worked with officials from YMCA of the USA to conduct a nationwide search for candidates with the background, experience and skills to lead a multifaceted nonprofit providing programs and services to more than 100,000 individuals each year.
“On behalf of the search committee and the entire board of directors, we could not be more pleased to have found someone of Leisha’s caliber to carry on the important work of the YMCA in central Iowa,” Usgaard said. “She brings great ideas and great energy to this role, and we can’t wait for her to get started.”
In accepting the position, Barcus expressed her appreciation for the opportunity and her commitment to the YMCA’s cause of strengthening the foundations of community.
“It’s clear to me that the board and staff of the YMCA are uniquely poised to build on their 150 years of impact in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” Barcus said. “I’m thrilled to be able to lead an organization that continues to be such an integral part of our community, and I’m ready to ensure the mission of the YMCA is felt by as many people as possible.”
Barcus starts her new position at the YMCA on September 24.
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About the YMCA of Greater Des Moines
The YMCA of Greater Des Moines is a powerful association of men, women and children of all ages and from all walks of life united by a shared passion: to strengthen the foundations of community. We serve more than 100,000 citizens from communities throughout central Iowa and operate eight full-facility YMCAs, the YMCA Supportive Housing Campus in downtown Des Moines and Y Camp resident camp in Boone. For 150 years, the Y has been a leading nonprofit organization focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Find out more at www.dmymca.org.