YMCA of Pulaski County names new leader

Jessie Woods has been selected to become the new YMCA of Pulaski County CEO following an extensive national search for a new leader. Jessie, who will begin her new role on May 15th, will be succeeding Allison Hunter, who will be retiring on June 1st after 7 years of exemplary service. Speaking of her new role, Jessie says, “It has been so exciting to watch the Y come alive again under Allison’s leadership over the last several years. I can’t wait to be a part of the Ys future and am honored to serve our community in this role.”

Jessie, her husband L.A., and their two children, live on their family farm in Pulaski County. She has always had a deep love for the Pulaski YMCA where she learned to swim and spent nearly every day in high school practicing for the swim team, worked in the child development center and later taught spin classes, enrolled her children in child care and served on the Y Board. Jessie has spent the last 15 years living out her passion to work with children and families through school based mental health services and growing in leadership. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has a B.S. degree from Virginia Tech and a Master of Social Work from Radford University.

Allison Hunter returned home to Pulaski after a successful business career and began a second career as her YMCA’s CEO 7 years ago. Allison’s father, Dr. Thomas Haller, was one of the founders of the YMCA of Pulaski County and Allison also grew up going to the Pulaski Y and swimming for the Y swim team. Allison has built relationships, increased contributions and expanded YMCA programs and services during her tenure. She is an avid runner, well respected community leader and is excited to be passing the YMCA CEO Keys to Jessie.

Reflecting on this transition in leadership, YMCA Board President Kathy Waller remarked, “Allison’s seven-year legacy strengthened the foundation of our YMCA. Her leadership style and relationship skills were exemplary. We will miss her and know she will do her best to prepare Jessie to step into this  leadership role.”