Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Philip Adams Jr.
Dr. Lloyd Sampson
J. Madison (Mat) Mize
Dr. Jimmy Elder
Charles E. Huff Jr.
Frank G. Lumpkin III
John P. Thayer
Jack G. Turner
Wright B. Waddell
Dr. Ronald Wiggins
Chief Meteorologist Bob Jeswald
Executive Leadership Team
President & CEO
Chris is a Servant Leader who is committed to the well-being of those in the Chattahoochee Valley through work and volunteerism; while providing strategic leadership to a dynamic team that delivers impactful programming and services to our community. Chris holds a MPA & BS in Recreation Administration and Leisure Services Management. In his spare time, Chris volunteers on various boards and as a youth coach and mentor, enjoys reading to students and being outdoors, but most importantly, spending time with family.
Vice President of Human Resources & Finance
The Y has always been a part of my life. Growing up, my mother worked at the YMCA, so I was always here when I wasn’t at school. As a teenager, I became a lifeguard and swim instructor through my high school years. I later returned and I have been in my current role as VP of H.R. & Finance for 28 years. I still love the Y, and being a part of this team.
President & CEO
Use this space to introduce yourself and share your professional history.
Desiree started with the YMCA in May of 2019 after relocating to Alabama from Pennsylvania.
Desiree and her husband have three grown, married children and four wonderful grandchildren. She enjoys worshipping Jesus, spending time with her family, acting and reading.
Vice President of Operations
Originally from the Chattahoochee Valley, Scott grew up in the Y. During college, he completed an internship and started employment with the YMCA in Montgomery, Al. After returning home in 2014, Scott was hired as the Childcare & Aquatics Program Director and has served various roles. He is most passionate about his family, serving his community and all things active and healthy!
Branch Leadership Team
DA Turner Branch Director
Jillian is originally from New Orleans and came to the Columbus area 2012. She started with the Y as a Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer, and Wellness Coach while she finished her degree in Exercise Science from Columbus State University. She became the Association Fitness Director in 2015 and was promoted to her current position in the Summer of 2019. You can still find her teaching a variety of group fitness classes.
Facilities & Properties Director
Mr. Peabody came to Y in a full-time capacity in 2018 as a Branch Director after serving several years in a part time role. Originally for Salem Alabama, Mr. Peabody is a proud graduate of Smiths Station High School and Capella University. Mr. Peabody has 3 children Marissa, Ahmari, and Jh'kari, and has been married to his wife LaTanja for 15 years. Mr. Peabody enjoys coaching sports and working with his hands.
McClung Branch Director
Originally from North Carolina, Tabia started with the Columbus, Ga YMCA in March 1993- over 29 years of experience as a Membership Specialist, Capital Campaign Manager, Membership Director, and now Branch Director. I have four grown children and a total of seven amazing grandchildren! I enjoy diverse cultural arts and cuisines, brain teasers, and crossword puzzles.
Thayer Branch Director
Abby graduated with a Psychology major from Columbus State University in 2014. She has been a group fitness instructor for six years and on staff, full-time, for two years. Along with being a group fitness instructor, she enjoys traveling and her two cats, Marcel and Binx.
Turner Assistant Branch Director
Affectionately known as Coach “T”, started part-time in 1996 at our McClung Y. Originally from the island of Samoa, Jed and his wife Cynthia have two grown children and a total of five beautiful grandchildren. He started full-time in 1999 holding several positions and certifications along the way: The Y has afforded Jed to focus on the “C” in YMCA (Christ) and promote and live the YMCA mission daily.
Originally from California, I have lived in Columbus now for 19 years. Kory, and I have been married over 17 years, our 2 daughters Hannah and Kirsten both work for the Y. I started over 13 years ago working in Aquatics for the Y, I have been the Head Swim Team Coach- BARRACUDAS- for the last 9 years. As a former Competieitve Swimmer and Water Polo player, I teaching the art of swimming. My main role in life is to teach youth kids about Jesus, I've been a youth leader at The Way church for about 4 years. GO DAWGS!
Born in Columbus Georgia - A graduate from Carver High School and Columbus State University, earning his BS in Health Science, Antonio really appreciates the impact of sports and recreation in our Community. For over 10 years he has coached competitive youth basketball, and has been instrumental in expanding Youth Sport Participation across the Chattahoochee Valley. Fun fact about Antonio is: he loves to cook!
Kayla Van Buren
Membership & Wellness Director
From Smyra, Ga, Kayla graduated from Faulkner University, in Montgomery, Al with a degree in Sports Management. Prior to joining the Y, she was a Starbucks Corporation professional. In her free time she enjoys gardening with husband and their two German shepherds!
Thayer Wellness Director
I became a YMCA member in 2000, and became employed in 2011,as a Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer where I learned that the Y is more than just a workout facility. I love working for the Y. I enjoy the members and the staff but most importantly I love the family that we have within our branches. It’s an environment where we grow and meet others from the community to build relationships and to foster a sense of well-being in so many areas of our lives.
Turner Assistant Childcare Director
Gwen started with the YMCA in 2016 after relocating from Savannah. Gwen is a servant leader who thrives when using her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others. Her relationship with Jesus is most important in her life in addition to her three adult children and seven grandchildren. Gwen’s favorite hobbies are cooking, baking, and taking family trips.
Thayer Childcare Coordinator
Rachael has been with the YMCA for 7 years. She has a passion for children, fitness and healthy living she has a desire to inspire others in their journey for a physically and spiritually healthy life. She and her husband both work for the Y, and now have a baby girl who is a YMCA baby!
Curtis Simpson is a graduate of Kendrick high school class of 2001.. Since 2005 he has found his calling as a coach and being an active mentor in youth sports. Curt enjoys helping children succeed in the classroom and during competition. His favorite players are his 4
children, he and his wife enjoy family, friends, and gardening.
Turner Wellness Coordinator
An outdoor enthusiast, triathlete, and author. In 2005, she graduated Beacon University with a Bachelor's of Arts in Biblical Studies then went on to complete two-years teaching and mission assignments in China that ultimately revolutionized her life. For fun, Chandrika initiates local events (e.g. Bikes and Breakfast, Melanin Miles & More) providing her community's Black women trustworthy outdoor experiences.
Turner Membership Coordinator
Thayer Membership Coordinator