YMCA of Greater Brandywine celebrates staff at annual Celebration of Excellence

Bertram L. Lawson II, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine, presents the E.A.G.L.E. award to Dawn Bennett, Payroll and Benefits Administrator.

Employees of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) gathered recently to celebrate their collective achievements and to recognize those with longstanding commitment to the Y’s mission. The organization’s annual Celebration of Excellence was held at the Mendenhall Inn with a separate celebration held at the Chester County Intermediate Unit for childcare staff.

Each year, the Celebration of Excellence is held to honor employees who are dedicated to YGBW’s mission and help propel the organization forward.

This year’s honorees include Dawn Bennett, Payroll and Benefits Administrator for the association; Alde Marshall, Custodian at the West Chester Area YMCA; Kristy Cornman, Head Lifeguard at the West Chester Area YMCA; Patricia Lebresco, Assistant Teacher at the Lionville Community YMCA. An additional nine employees were recognized as Employee of the Year at their branch location and 13 childcare team members received the Character Award.

YGBW also honored employees with a longstanding commitment, recognizing those who have worked for the Y for at least five years. Collectively, YGBW presented service awards to 47 employees with a collective 500 years of service.

“There is something special about working for YGBW,” comments Natalie Gallon-Garcia, Chief Human Resources Officer. “We are mission driven, flexible and compassionate. When you work in a caring environment like ours, employees want to stick around.”

YGBW employs 1,800 full-time and part-time employees across nine branches and program centers and its association office in West Chester. In 2023, YGBW contributed more than $26.3MM back to the Chester County economy through payroll expenses, making them a large employer in the region.

“Our employees are the heartbeat of our organization,” comments President and CEO, Bertram L. Lawson II. “Without our staff, we cannot serve our members and our community.”

“It is a top priority for us to focus on employee engagement, staff development and creating a culture of caring. When we take care of our staff, they take care of our members, who go out into the community with positivity and light. It’s a cycle of compassion that we want to ignite inside our places and spaces.”

With summer quickly approaching, the Y has a great need to hire lifeguards and camp counselors. And there is a year-round need for teachers, aides and assistants.
To help connect job seekers with career opportunities, YGBW is hosting a career fair at the Upper Main Line YMCA in Berwyn on May 4, 2024.

“I started my career 27 years ago as a camp counselor at the Y,” continues Lawson. “Look where I am now. The Y is a great place to build a career, and I encourage you to come see what we have to offer.”

YGBW Career Fair: https://ymcagbw.org/events/community-events/upper-main-line-ymca/ygbw-career-fair

Careers at YGBW: https://ymcagbw.org/about/careers

About YGBW: https://ymcagbw.org/about-us

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