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In this Edition: 
  • Year-Round Advocacy - Committee Weeks
  • YPN Conference & YPN Awards
  • Statewide Aquatics Survey
  • Local YMCA Bright Spot: YMCA of South Florida
  • YReads! Update
  • 2020 National Leadership Opportunities
  • Thought Leader Cohorts Members Announced
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Florida Ys in the News


Committee Weeks
Committee weeks kick off Monday, September 16, 2019. 

This year, Committee weeks will fall on the following weeks:

  • October 14 - 18, 2019
  • October 21-25, 2019
  • November 4-8, 2019
  • November 12-15, 2019
  • December 9-13, 2019

During the non-committee weeks, Ys have the opportunity to meet with their legislators in their districts, invite their legislators to Y events and engage them outside of Tallahassee.

The Florida State Alliance of YMCAs Advocacy Team will be reaching out to local Ys to work with your local association to schedule & attend meetings as needed. 

Advocacy In Action
On October 8th, our state alliance team met with Senator Bill Montford who also serves at the CEO of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS).  

The purpose of the meeting:  

  • To gain insight into the Superintendents priorities - The number 1 priority for them is Mental Health
  • The Alliance will be proactive/solidify the YMCA as the after-school care of choice and/or partnership with the Superintendents.   
  • Dr. Grego is the incoming Board President of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents which David Jezek and St Petersburg just signed a partnership to build a new middle school/YMCA together.  

ACTION: We will be asking YMCA CEOs to meet with Superintendents in their Y's service areas to discuss how the Y can help address mental health in the school districts.  The State Alliance of YMCAs will be providing talking points and will discuss a strategy at the CEO meeting in November. 

Thank you Maria Aristizabal, YMCA of Florida's First Coast for making the journey to Tallahasee to meet with FADSS!

On-Going Advocacy
For tips on engaging your elected officials to visit, check out the Find Your Legislator page on our website! 

For a complete guide check out Y-USA's Updated Engaging with Public Officials Toolkit and the Exchange Page for Tools and Resources.


The YPN Chapter 27 conference is two months away! This conference will take place on November 14-15, 2019 in Tampa, FL.  

We're excited to announce that the conference registration link is NOW open! Registration Link

Fees: YPN Members $149 | YPN Prime Members* $99

Register for or renew your PRIME membership first in the Learning & Career Development Center.    
Use discount code D43M87F to get a reduced YPN PRIME member conference rate.


Hotel Block Information
Conference Hotel rate is $159 night at the beautiful Sheraton Riverwalk in Tampa.
200 N Ashley Drive,
Tampa, FL 33602.
Reservation Link to Hotel

YPN Award Nomination
YPN Chapter 27 would like to recognize the following members within the chapter for their individual accomplishments and leadership that strengthens the YMCA movement and our YPN chapter. Please join us in congratulating the following staff: 

  • Cause-Driven Leader of the Year, Georgie Wilson, YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg
  • Outstanding New Director of the Year, Lily Tysinger, Florida State Alliance of YMCAs
  • Outstanding Director of the Year, Robyn Ostrem, Tampa Metropolitan YMCA
  • Developing Others Award, Stephanie Dushane, YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg
  • Emerging Leader, Melissa Bishop, YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg

YPN Conference Sponsorships
If you have a partnership with an exhibitor or vendor, and you think they might want to sponsor the conference, contact Ryan Smith

YPN Conference Agenda
The moment you have been waiting for, the conference agenda! This agenda has something for everyone. Check out the Agenda here.

The Peer Communities are also gearing up to have a day full of learning! Check out the peer community breakout descriptions here.

Please share the conference with your staff and encourage them to attend this inaugural conference. There will be an award given to the YMCA with the most registered attendees


The Florida State Alliance of YMCAs in partnership with the Service Delivery Partner YMCA, YMCA of Florida's First Coast will be conducting a state-wide aquatics survey geared toward gaining a deeper understanding pf aquatic programming and safety across the state. 

Tammy Miller and her team at YMCA of Florida's First Coast will be getting in touch with the Aquatics contact given by each to us by each YMCA CEO. 

Once the survey data is collected, it will be shared with the CEOs at the CEO meeting in November, and the YPN Aquatics Peer Community at the YPN Conference. 


YMCA of South Florida
The YMCA of South Florida is leading the charge in helping those in the Bahamas for the Movement in Florida. The YMCA's South Florida's Youth Development team, YMCA Family Centers and Ys throughout Florida shipped a large number of supplies over to the Bahamas Y.  These supplies came from all over the state, such as The YMCA of the Suncoast! 

To strengthen this work, YMCA of South Florida has used this as an opportunity to partner with community organizations to support efforts.  They have even enlisted one of their vendors to not only donate to the cause but also work on a future fundraising effort.   Stay tuned for the opportunity to personally get involved as well as ways for your members to contribute.  

Next step in the support efforts that the YMCA of South Florida leading for the Alliance and the Movement is to schedule a visit to see the site with a small group of Y leaders from around the state of Florida before the year-end. Chad Garmon, Central Florida , Jackie Riordan, South Palm Beach (representing YPN) to name a few.  This trip's goal will be to capture video of the damage and create a compelling case for support that can grow online giving to the cause. 

In addition, the South Florida YMCA will look at the concept of forming a “Coalition of YMCAs” to support the Bahamas Y and model after Puerto Rico and Haiti efforts in the past.

The YMCA of South Florida and Florida State Alliance of YMCAs ask YMCAs throughout the State of Florida to get involved with the cause.

Some of those opportunities may be:

  • Matching funds opportunities
  • Work on leveraging equipment vendors (Matrix, Life Fitness, Precor) to replace (donate) the damaged fitness equipment (water damage) at the Bahamas Y.
  • Since there is significant damage to the facility and resources are needed; maybe even organize a workday onsite to help get the facility back to where it was 

Please reach out to Jake Steger at the YMCA of South Florida. 



The Florida Afterschool Network's State of Afterschool
and Summer Learning in Florida Report is here! This report focuses on Afterschool in Florida and how it relates to incidences with the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Y's can use this report and data to build their case for afterschool support and funding.

Click here to view the full report.


It is with mixed emotions that we announce that Shartrina White, Executive Director of the YReads! The program has left us as of October 2, 2019.  Shartrina has been an incredible leader and champion for literacy and our YReads! program.  She had an incredible opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of an Animal Sanctuary in Colorado. 

Under Shartrina's leadership the YReads program has grown both curriculum and in numbers. Her legacy has and will make our world a better place now and into the future.  The Florida YMCAs wants to thank Shartrina for all she has done to impact so many children and families in the State of Florida. 

We are looking for someone to join our team as the State Director of Literacy and Enrichment Initiatives! This role will develop and execution of the Florida State Alliance of YMCAs Foundation YMCA Reads! program and as well as other educational initiatives in conjunction with the state strategic plan. Check out the job posting here. Resumes will be accepted until November 7, 2019. 

2020 National Leadership Opportunities

YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) has released the 2020 National Leadership Development Opportunities. These opportunities provide high-quality leadership development opportunities to ensure Y staff at all levels can continue their growth as committed, cause-driven leaders in the Y.

See a preview of the 2020 National Development Opportunities and consider how they can help you reach your career goals next year.


Delivering on the Y’s Commitment to America will require us to be at our best as a Movement and we are at our best when we are working together to share knowledge, innovate, solve problems and drive operational excellence. Thought Leader Cohorts are one way we will accomplish this.

Y-USA has announced the members of our first six Thought Leader Cohorts.  Members of these groups will help drive innovation in partnership with the movement around critical social issues, diversified business models, new customer segments and program development to ensure the future relevance and sustainability of the Y.

Congratulations to Florida YMCA Leaders selected for the first six cohorts: 

  • Scott Fahrney, Florida State Alliance of YMCAs - Drowning Prevention Cohort
  • Liz Schmidt, YMCA of South Plam Beach County - Drowning Prevention Cohort
  • Candance Burrows, YMCA of Florida's First Coast - Program Development and Enhancement Cohort
  • Christina Wiley, Florida State Alliance of YMCAs - Teen and Young Adult Leadership Cohort

Check out the full list here

The next round of Thought Leader Cohort is accepting applications. Check it out on LINK. 


Walmart Foundation Accepting Applications for Community Grant Program

The Walmart Foundation is accepting applications through its Community Grant Program.
Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to local nonprofit organizations located within the service area of individual Walmart stores in the areas of hunger relief and healthy eating, health and human services, quality of life, education, community, and economic development, diversity and inclusion, public safety, and environmental sustainability.

To be eligible, applicants must be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) or (19) of the Internal Revenue Code; or a recognized government entity (state, county, or city agency, including law enforcement or fire departments) requesting funds exclusively for a public purpose; or a K-12 public or private school, charter school, community/junior college, state/private college or university; or a church or other faith-based organization with a proposed project that benefits the community at large.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through December 31, 2019. Link to full RFP here

Robert Woods Johnson (RWJ) Foundation Culture of Health Prizes

Is your Y's community helping transform neighborhoods, schools, and businesses so everyone has the opportunity to thrive? Apply for the 2020 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize. The prize honors and elevates communities working at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity for all. Winning communities will receive a $25,000 cash prize and national recognition. Nominate your community by Nov. 4. Register to join a webinar at 2 p.m. (CT) Sept. 24 to learn more.


Florida CEO Meeting
November 13-14, 2019
Tampa, FL 

YPN Chapter 27 Conference
November 14-15, 2019
Tampa, FL

Florida YMCA Teen Changemakers Summit & Florida YIG: Fall Delegate Convention
November 22-23, 2019
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Florida Teen Leaders Rally
December 6-8, 2019
Riverview, FL

Praesidium Guardian Training
December 10-12, 2019
Clearwater, FL

Tampa Fall Regional Training Event
October 1 - December 31, 2019
Event Information

Contact Rhonda McVey, Regional Training Director, YUSA Training Partner YMCA, for more information.


A special thanks to the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg for hosting the Florida State HR and Risk Meeting.  

  • Central Florida Metro YMCA  
  • Florida's First Coast YMCA
  • Highlands County Family YMCA  
  • Lake Wales Family YMCA
  • Manatee County Family YMCA
  • Greater Marco Family YMCA
  • North Central Florida YMCA
  • YMCA of Northwest Florida
  • Palm Beaches Metropolitan YMCA
  • YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg
  • Sarasota Family YMCA
  • The SKY Family YMCA
  • YMCA of South Florida
  • YMCA of South Collier
  • YMCA of South Palm Beach County
  • YMCA of the Suncoast
  • Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA
  • YMCA of the Treasure Coast
  • Volusia/Flagler Family YMCA
  • YMCA of West Central Florida
Become a YMCA Advocate by joining the YMCA Advocates Action Center and receive action alerts on legislative issues. These actions alerts will allow you to communicate the position of the YMCA with a simple click of a button. You can also log your interactions with your elected officials and take place in the virtual National Advocacy Day.
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