NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck YMCA is under new management.
Susan Talbot, who was the director of finance at the Greater Waterbury YMCA for the past 14 years, took up the reins at the YMCA as the organization’s CEO on Sept. 1. She succeeded former CEO William Kane, who retired in July.
Talbot said since she has started, she has felt welcomed by everyone.
“The energy of the staff is amazing. The community as well as the membership in the facility has welcomed me with open arms. It’s been a great experience thus far,” Talbot said.
Marcel Martins, chairman of the YMCA Board of Directors, said the transition from Kane to Talbot has been easy due to how welcoming nature of the staff.
“Our family that we have here … they were easy to accommodate Susan and to get her accustom to the new family. Everything seems to be going good and it looks like the future is going to bring a lot of great things for our local YMCA and our community,” Martins said.
The staff, in turn, feels Talbot is a good addition to the organization.
“Susan brings a wonderful energy to the Y,” Associate Executive Director Denise Sullivan said.
Talbot said she has been familiarizing herself with all the different facets of the Naugatuck YMCA since she was hired.
“I’ve been sitting back and meeting with the staff and key stakeholders in the community, as well as the board, to get a feel of what we do here and try to figure out how we’re going to drive toward the future of the organization,” Talbot said.
Talbot said getting to know everyone has been one of the best parts of the job so far. The YMCA held a reception earlier this month for members and Talbot to meet each other.
“I’m very much a people person and I got to really connect face to face with members, seniors, youth, adults. It was a fantastic experience. I went home with a big smile on my face,” Talbot said.
As Talbot’s time at the YMCA begins, she said she’d like to branch out to serve more special populations in the community.
“This Y has a very rich programming for special populations. We serve seniors. We have lots and lots of seniors here. We serve children very well. We’d like to branch out into different special populations, specifically autism and working with the Department of Mental Retardation with either support groups or physical activity programs we can offer here. We have a lot of talent on staff in that specific area and, right at this point, it’s not being utilized to the best of its ability,” Talbot said.
The change in leadership is not the only new thing happening in the YMCA this year. The organization received a $317,500 state grant in April to make some necessary upgrades, including improvements to the gym and pool areas.
“We’re putting the finishing touches on the scope of that work right now. That work will include some filtration and mechanics in the pool area as well as the completion of our gymnasium and then the upstairs office and administrative area, which needs a lot of TLC,” Talbot said.
The basketball court’s new floor has been put in and new padding along the walls has been installed, Talbot said. The new bleachers will be put in soon, she added.
Talbot hopes the updates to the YMCA will draw people from the community into the building so they can see everything the organization has to offer.
“They should definitely come in and see what we have done so far. As you can tell things are starting to pop around here. It’s really great,” Talbot said.