Fort Wayne, Ind. (WANE) – Flip your calendar back to September of 1997.
That’s when Marty Pastura took over as President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne, which then had about 9,000 members.
Today, that number is closer to 90,000, as Pastura plans to step down at the end of 2019.
“I can remember on my interview,” Pastura recalls, “they were talking about expansion and growing the YMCA and that really appealed to me.
“I didn’t want to come to a community where there wasn’t much growth, so I saw a lot of potential here in Fort Wayne.”
Pastura is quick to give credit to his team and a growing community interest in healthy living. Putting facilities closer to “where the people live” certainly helped, too.
“What the YMCA was able to offer in the suburbs when we built (there) was the convenience of getting there, offering really great facilities and great programs,” he says.
“Hopefully, I would think the Y has been the catalyst for a lot of change in our community.”
Under Pastura’s leadership, the YMCA has put new or upgraded facilities in all four quadrants of the city, along with downtown Fort Wayne and in Bluffton.
YMCA board member Tom Salzer credits Pastura for creating a vibrant YMCA community where nearly one in five residents is a Y member.
“Marty’s vision and passion for the Y transformed our sleepy system into the powerhouse that it is,” Salzer emails WANE 15.
“Our market penetration numbers are 2-3 times greater than the national average. Y operators cannot figure out how we have such a high percentage of our population as membership, and I believe it is due directly to Marty’s vision for impactful people delivering impactful programs.”
Programs that reach all people regardless of their stage of life, Pastura adds.
“You can say we’re a fitness organization, we’re a wellness organization, we’re a youth organization, we’re here for seniors. The YMCA does an array of things and most people don’t know everything that we’re doing.”
What will he miss?
“Well, everybody says ‘I’ll miss the people’ and I really will,” he starts.
“We have some of the most genuine sincere people who work for the YMCA that really want to make a difference in people’s lives and I’m going to miss them. I will still be around; I’m not going anywhere. This is our home. Our daughter lives here and she’s got two kids. So, you know, I’m not going anywhere. I just want to be able to tell the story of how the YMCA is really making a difference, just in a different way, just in a different capacity.”
Pastura will remain in a part time role, helping raise money for an endowment fund.
Current COO Chris Angellatta will take over as CEO in 2020.