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YMCAs in Monmouth and Ocean counties announce partnership

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As of July 1, two central New Jersey YMCAs began working together to strengthen their collective community impact.

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County (YGMC) and the Ocean County YMCA (OCYMCA) entered into a management agreement that took effect July 1 and will continue through December. The agreement was unanimously approved by both boards of directors, according to a press release.

“The Y’s purpose as a cause-driven organization is to strengthen the people and communities we serve,” said Ted Nappi, chairman of YGMC Board of Directors. “YMCAs also support and strengthen each other for the greater good of the community.”

Under the terms of the agreement, long-time YMCA professional Laurie Goganzer, the president and CEO of YGMC, is serving as the CEO for the OCYMCA, while key members of her leadership team will oversee operations and finance.

YGMC, headquartered in Shrewsbury, serves more than 36,000 people and is one of the largest Ys in New Jersey, while OCYMCA is based in Toms River and provides programs to 12,000 people, according to the press release.

Michael Ritacco, chairman of the OCYMCA Board of Directors, said, “We are pleased for the support and expertise of our sister YMCA and look forward to working together to advance our shared mission.”

The agreement comes on the heels of both boards exploring the potential for the two associations to collaborate following the resignation of former OCYMCA CEO Peter Rosario in July 2021.

A task force was established in December 2021 with representatives from both boards of directors. The task force concluded its work in May.

On the recommendation of the task force, the agreement is a step to strengthen OCYMCA operations and further study opportunities for the two organizations to come together in support of one another to expand the Y mission to improve the health and well-being of all in need in central New Jersey, according to the press release.

“Our two YMCA associations have a history of collaborating to promote youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” Goganzer said, “including therapeutic counseling programs in Toms River schools, joint water safety programs and special activities for children, families and older adults.”

Goganzer, who led the merger of the Community YMCA and the YMCA of Western Monmouth County to create YGMC in 2019, said, “Our shared goal is to strengthen the Y’s impact to better serve children, teens, adults and families in central New Jersey today and into the future.”

Jennifer Dunn, the chief operations officer of YGMC, is now supporting OCYMCA membership and branch operations, working directly with Gretchen Insole, who serves as executive director of the Toms River facility.

Beginning in September, YGMC Chief Financial Officer John Kelly and Vice President of Finance Carly Moresco will assist with financial operations.

Goganzer said the two Ys “are proud to be among YMCAs here in New Jersey and throughout the country that are joining forces and living our belief that we are stronger together.”

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