So many of the YMCA stories you’ll read start with sports – played as a child at a local Y, or maybe as a volunteer parent coaching flag football or soccer. Some stories begin with a wonderful camp experience. We’ve even told one recently that included the meeting of a future fiancé at the front desk while folding towels.
This Y story is about Kevin Haury, our associate executive director at the C.M. Gatton Beaumont YMCA and it is all of those mentioned above, rolled into one.
If there’s a job at the YMCA, Kevin’s probably had it. In 2000 he started his 18-year Y career in Frankfort, which at that time was its own association, separate from the YMCA of Central Kentucky. He initially was their sports director, and during that time helped to open the Prevention Park facility on the westside of the capital city.
After a time, Kevin joined this association, hired by the High Street YMCA’s David Elsen as a senior program director and the facility’s associate executive director. This was his first stint at High Street, and while there, he helped start the Toyota Bluegrass Miracle League. Haury then moved to Scott County and oversaw Y camps, sports classes, childcare and aquatics. He also began the first Y sport leagues in Scott County.
Kevin then jumped over to the business office as director of strategic initiatives, driving the association’s strategic plan while also helping to stand up national signature programs such as LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program and the Pioneering Healthier Communities.
Kevin briefly left the Y, only to return and run the association’s sports programming while once again assuming his associate executive director role at High Street. Today, Kevin’s at the Beaumont facility, bringing his wealth of organizational and operational experience to the branch.
“I owe much of my great experiences at the YMCA of Central Kentucky to the many great leaders and mentors who constantly challenged and supported me to take on new projects and, in some ways, blaze new paths for myself and the association,” Kevin said. “I very much like to build and create, and I have been very lucky to have supervisors that encouraged me to push forward, giving me the space to learn, to fail, to succeed, and ultimately, to grow.”
When Kevin’s not at the Y, he’s not sitting at home either. Kevin’s a baseball fanatic, and actually began his career with Major League Baseball. “Before coming to the Y full-time I worked for the Atlanta Braves Organization for their AAA franchise in Richmond, VA,” he said. “When I moved back to Kentucky, I made sure my passion for baseball remained an important part of my life.
“When I’m not at the Y, I coach baseball for Woodford County High School and for the US Elite Baseball summer program.” In typical deadpan sarcastic commentary Kevin added, “Regardless of the time of day, if I’m awake, I’m either at the Y or on a ballfield somewhere.”
Kevin earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration at Bellarmine University while also playing for the baseball team, and then acquired his Master of Science in Sports Management at the University of Kentucky. Today, he puts those academic accolades to work in the evenings, teaching a course or two as an adjunct professor at Midway University in their sports management program.
“I teach undergraduates a variety of sports management related subjects focused around leadership, management and operations,” he told us. “I also assist students in internship and career development opportunities.”
The Y also delivered the opportunity for Kevin to grow personally, beyond baseball diamonds and youth sports. “While in college, I worked at the association’s Bar Y Outdoor Adventure Camp, and I met my wife.”
When we asked him how the Y positively impacted his life, he circled back to this point. “Did I mention that I met my wife at camp?”
Agreeing with this point was easy, but we followed up the question with another, asking Kevin what he most appreciates about the YMCA. “I love that we have an opportunity to help and serve a wide range of people in a wide range of activities and programs. I like that no two days are ever the same.”
As you would expect, when we ask him what words come to mind when he thinks of the Y, community is first out of his mouth, followed by helping others… and of course, family.
Did he mention that he met his wife at the Bar Y camp while in college?