Who has the biggest laugh at the YMCA of Central Kentucky?
The answer is open for debate. But one of the leading candidates would be Caitlin Ellis, membership director at the High Street YMCA.
Like many employees we’ve profiled, once Caitlin started working at the Y, she was hooked, and has been a “lifer”. For the past 13 years she’s been at multiple locations handling many different roles and responsibilities, ranging from an aquatics director to business analyst, building supervisor to program director, Kids Corner employee to gymnastics instructor.
And, she’s loved every minute of it.
“I’ve only ever worked for the YMCA!” Caitlin stated emphatically. “I started lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons in high school at the Nicholasville Aquatics Center, which was managed by the Y at that time. I refereed soccer and worked the front desk at the North Lexington Family YMCA; then I went back to the Aquatics Center to lifeguard for the summer.”
“The flexibility to work with my schedule was important, and my associates and supervisors have provided so many different opportunities to grow my Y experience,” she added.
Caitlin grew up in Garrard County before moving to Lexington, and once she began working within the Y, she immediately began to grow her leadership experience.
“One of my supervisors saw something in me at a young age, and with her help I quickly moved into some leadership roles that really helped me advance in my career. It is important to feel invested in, and I grew both professionally and personally,” Caitlin said.
“That investment has helped me move the Y’s mission forward, and I know that I am making a difference in the lives of our members, program participants, and community directly or indirectly, every day.”
When we asked Caitlin what she appreciated most about the Y, she mentioned family. “While lifeguarding at the ‘North Y’ I met my husband. Today, we have two young sons who are very active in Y programs, including childcare at the Center for Children here in Lexington.
“What I’m most passionate about is caring for my family and being happy. I love being a mom and feel lucky to have a career where I am able to not only balance work and home life, but happily integrate the two,” she said.
“However, no matter how sappy that might sound, I do love to tell or hear a good dad joke or two each day!”
Caitlin called out the Y’s commitment to diversity as something that comes to mind when she thinks about how the association makes a difference in our community. “I love the different levels of diversity we have – the Y has so much to offer for so many different people and groups in Central Kentucky. We all truly care about this community. I love to see the smiles of members, young and old at the High Street Y every day!”
Thanks for making us smile with your story, Caitlin, and we look forward to hearing your laugh in the hallway of High Street next time we see you.