The YWCA of Genesee County Board of Directors is announcing that Executive Director, Millie Tomidy-Pepper will be retiring from her position on Sept. 30. Board of Directors President Christi Waldron says the board has formed a search committee and is actively working towards finding Millie’s successor to facilitate a smooth leadership transition.
Waldron says, “For over five years, Millie has truly embodied the mission of the YWCA of Genesee County. She works diligently alongside staff and board members to ensure our programs reach as many community members as possible. It will be extremely difficult to say goodbye, but the board and I are dedicated to finding the right person to fill her shoes.”
“Millie’s integrity is unquestioned and apparent. It is because of her integrity that the YWCA is respected by both our community/funding partners and by our contributors. She sets the example for board members and staff alike,” says former board treasurer, Linda Rost.
“I have always been passionate about the mission of the YWCA and the work we do, so the decision to move on has been an extremely difficult one. However, I leave knowing that the agency is fiscally strong with excellent programming, dedicated staff, and a board of directors that will continue to move the agency forward. We have worked diligently alongside a very supportive community, and I know that will continue. It has truly been an honor and privilege to lead this historical agency and I am very proud of all that we have accomplished together,” said Millie Tomidy-Pepper.
Millie was hired as Executive Director of the YWCA of Genesee County in 2018. She quickly realized that organizational restructuring was needed to ensure the future of the YWCA and the programs and services it offers to the community.
She brought on all new board members, and together they embarked on a strategic assessment of the organization, which included evaluating programmatic impact and fiscal sustainability.
Building ownership was also evaluated and eventually, a decision was made to sell the YWCA building to Three Little Birds Pediatric Office, a woman-owned business, operated by Dr. Emily Fraser-Branche. The YWCA was able to remain in the building it called home for over 50 years by renting office space from Fraser-Branche. It has been a win-win for all involved!
Simultaneously, Millie focused on the internal infrastructure. A Grant Manager was hired and when additional grant funding was secured, new office computers and replacing the 25-year-old server was top on the list. The main office, domestic violence (DV) offices, and common areas were renovated to be welcoming to clients and customers.
The extremely popular, “My Sister’s Closet” boutique that provides affordable women’s clothing to DV survivors and the community was relocated within the building and renovated to make a more enjoyable shopping experience for all.
Human Resource Services, Technical Support and Accounting Consulting Services were added to support agency operations. A Bilingual DV Outreach Coordinator position and a Safe House Case Manager position were added to complement the Domestic Violence Program and services we offer.
The Safe House, which houses survivors of Domestic Violence was renovated initially through a partnership with the Rotary Club of Batavia and thereafter through grant funding and community support. The house provides safety and comfort to families fleeing domestic abuse.
Critical to the mission of the YWCA, under Millie’s tenure, multiple social justice initiatives and programs took place. The YWCA was the host agency for the first Juneteenth Celebration in Batavia, organized by Just Kings, the YWCA hosted yearly Stand Against Racism events, participated in the March for Our Lives event, and hosted “White Fragility”, a workshop to address systemic racism.
Millie also assisted in organizing the first Women’s March in Genesee County, revived a yearly award for local women, renaming the event, “Women of Inspiration”, and honored our founding mothers on the 110-year Anniversary of the YWCA with a Gala Celebration.
Through all this, there was a pandemic and the YWCA’s Domestic Violence Program was critical for the safety of victims during this unprecedented time. Under Millie’s leadership, services continued to be delivered uninterrupted and staff (essential workers) found innovative ways to reach out to individuals in need throughout the pandemic.
“The staff and community have been critical to the mission of the YWCA and the services we provide. We could not do what we do without them,” says Waldron.
The Board of Directors is currently seeking candidates for the Executive Director Position. Candidates should possess strong fundraising and financial management skills, have the ability to build strong partnerships both internally and externally, and most importantly; live the YWCA mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promote peace, justice, and dignity for all.
Qualified candidates can submit their cover letter, resume, and three professional references to Board President, Christi Waldron, at YWBoardPresident@gmail.com for priority consideration by Monday, August 7. To view the job description, please visit ywcagenesee.org.