Board of Directors Commends 40 Year Legacy at the Y, Will Begin Search for Replacement


Gordie formal
Gordie formal
The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas announced today that President and Chief Executive Officer, Gordon Echtenkamp will retire in 2017, after 16 years of leading the 20th largest YMCA in the North America and a 40 year career serving the YMCA organization. A Board Search committee led by Mike Haggerty, Manager of Field Family Office, Estate of Bert Fields will begin the transition planning and recruitment efforts immediately. It is expected a successor will be in place early 2017 allowing a smooth transition as Echtenkamp retires later in the year.

“Gordon Echtenkamp’s commitment to the mission and vision for the YMCA certainly has made a major impact on the lives of the children and families here in North Texas,” said Kelvin Walker, YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Board Chair. “For nearly two decades and through the economic downturn, Gordie has led our YMCA through a period of remarkable growth and community impact, with a strong focus of meeting the needs of our community through relevant programs and impeccable financial stability. Our transition plan will provide a seamless passage of his good works as we build upon the foundation of Gordie’s tenure.”

Under his leadership, the Dallas YMCA has grown to serve more than 300,000 children and families in the greater Dallas community with an operating budget of $55 million. In addition, the Dallas Y is the largest provider of school-age childcare in North Texas serving 4,500 children daily in afterschool and camp programs.

During Echtenkamp’s tenure, he led two successful capital development initiatives that raised funds producing $80 million in projects addressing nearly every YMCA facility in the organization including new YMCAs opened in Plano, Frisco, East Dallas and the Park Cities communities. Significant renovation of existing community Ys was also completed including the T Boone Pickens YMCA Downtown, the JER Chilton YMCA in Rockwall, Grand Prairie YMCA along with the Park South, Moorland and Oak Cliff YMCAs and Camp Grady Spruce on Possum Kingdom Lake.

Echtenkamp recruited and engaged Dallas’ top corporate, community and civic leaders to serve on the Association Board of Directors and branch Boards of Managements, invested in the mission of the Y. The Y’s fundraising efforts generated more than $110 million over the last 15 years. Through carefully designed strategic plans, the Y developed signature programs and services to address critical social needs in Dallas including children’s safety, youth civic engagement, and community health.

“I am so proud to have served the YMCA movement for forty years and the last sixteen years here in Dallas, “said Mr. Echtenkamp. “The opportunity to work not only with an incredible staff team, but also an outstanding group of committed volunteers, donors, city leaders and community partners who are all focused on strengthening the foundation of this community has been such a privilege. I am confident that the Y will continue to meet the high expectations we all have of ourselves in service to the community.”

During his tenure, Echtenkamp played a key role in cultivating talent from around the country and implemented a multi-layer staff development initiative designed to create a culture of coaching for the more than 2,000 Dallas employees. His reach extended beyond Dallas as well, as he served as chair of the YMCA Employee Benefits Plan (YEB) and the YMCA North American Network, a group of YMCA CEOs from the world’s largest cities.

The transition planning will also include an executive search for the recently announced retirement of COO Carm Gallo, who will complete her Y service at the end of 2016 following a 43-year career with the YMCA.