YMCA of the USA Elects Nationally Recognized Business Executive to Lead National Board of Directors

CHICAGO, May 16, 2012 Today, YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) announces the election of Sharon L. Allen to chair of the nonprofit’s national board of directors. Allen, a well-known business leader from her long-standing career at Deloitte LLP, will provide leadership to the 27-member board, which sets the strategic direction and policies to guide the Y’s work in strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Allen succeeds Ulice Payne, Jr., Esq., and will serve a two-year term.

Allen spent nearly 40 years at Deloitte, where she oversaw the relationships with a number of multinational clients and served as managing partner of its pacific southwest practice. She recently retired as Chairman – a role in which she made history as the highest-ranking woman in Deloitte’s organization, as well as the first and only woman to serve as board chair of a large, private U.S. professional services firm.

Allen has developed a national reputation as a thought leader and influential speaker on topics such as governance, ethics and diversity and inclusion. Among her many honors, she was named to Forbes’ list of "The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World" for four consecutive years. Crain’s NY Business cited her as one of the most powerful business women in New York, and Directorship magazine recognized her as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Corporate Governance” four years in a row.

Along with Allen, Y-USA welcomes four new board members who will serve three-year terms:

  • David Barahona, Finance Associate Manager of PepsiCo, Inc.
  • Michael Bright, President and CEO of the YMCA of Newark and Vicinity
  • Janet Collins, Ph.D., Associate Director for Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland and Director of the Rock Creek Group

“The Y stands on the shoulders of the national board as we look to advance our cause to improve everyday life and help children, families and individuals learn, grow and thrive,” says Neil Nicoll, president and CEO of Y-USA. “Each of the new board members brings a unique experience and level of talent. Under the leadership of Sharon, who brings a wealth of experience in leading and serving on various boards of directors, the national board will ensure that Ys across the country have the leadership, resources and support needed to have a positive impact in this country.”

Read more about Allen and the new board members.

Sharon Allen, Chairman of Deloitte LLP, Retired Sharon Allen is former Chairman of Deloitte, LLP. She was a member of the organization’s Global Board of Directors, where she served as the U.S. representative on the Global Governance Committee and chaired the Global Risk Management Committee. Allen became involved with the Y three decades ago at the Treasure Valley YMCA in Boise, Idaho – her hometown. She later joined the boards of directors for the Treasure Valley YMCA and the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles. She joined Y-USA’s board in 2007. In addition, Allen is a board member and chair of the audit committee for Catalyst, Inc., and vice chairman of the board of trustees of the Autry National Center, an intercultural museum. Allen holds an honorary doctorate degree in administrative science and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Idaho.

David Barahona, Finance Associate Manager of PepsiCo, Inc. David Barahona served on the Y-USA board as a Kellogg Board Fellow before being elected as a full-term board member. He attends Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Ill. Upon graduation in June 2012, he will assume the position of Finance Associate Manager at PepsiCo, Inc. Barahona is the founder-owner of Seven Falls, LLC, a start-up consulting and investment firm that focuses on international small-scale sustainability projects. A native of Great Falls, Va., Barahona holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Miami University in Ohio. He is a member of the Miami University Young Alumni Council.

Michael Bright, President and CEO of the YMCA of Newark and Vicinity Michael Bright is president and CEO of the YMCA of Newark and Vicinity in New Jersey. Bright began his 16-year YMCA career as program director at the Newark YMCA and has held executive positions at the YMCA of Greater St. Louis, the Five Points Family YMCA in New Jersey and the YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester in New York. He returned to the Newark Y as Chief Operating Officer in 2007. Bright is a member of the Y’s Multicultural Executive Development Program, African-American Executive Forum and Multicultural Mentoring Program, and board member of the Association of YMCA Professionals – a professional development organization of the Y. A native of Newark, Bright holds bachelor’s degrees in English and history from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Penn., where he was a Hall of Fame basketball player.

Janet Collins, Ph.D., Associate Director for Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Janet Collins, Ph.D., is Associate Director for Program, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga. Collins provides leadership and guidance in promoting CDC’s priorities across the agency and leading agencywide efforts in performance management and program evaluation. She previously served as director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, where she directed a diverse set of programmatic and scientific initiatives on tobacco, nutrition, physical activity, cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Collins’ interests focus on preventing risk factors for disease. She has published extensively in the area of adolescent health and has given numerous addresses on health promotion and disease prevention. A native of Los Angeles, Calif., Collins holds a doctorate degree in educational psychology from Stanford University, a master’s degree in clinical psychology and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Diego State University.

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland and Director of Rock Creek Group Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is director of the Rock Creek Group,an international investment firm. She is also a visiting fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Townsend was Maryland's first female lieutenant governor, where she was in charge of a multimillion-dollar budget and oversaw major cabinet departments, including Economic Development and Transportation, State Police, Public Safety and Corrections, and Juvenile Justice. Prior to her election as lieutenant governor, Townsend served as U.S. deputy assistant attorney general. She chairs the Institute of Human Virology and serves as a director on several boards, including the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the Robert Kennedy Memorial, the Center for American Progress and the Center for International Policy. She served on the board of directors of the YMCA of Greater New York from 2007 to 2009. A native of Washington, D.C., Townsend received her juris doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law and is an honors graduate of Harvard University with bachelor’s degrees in history and literature. She has received 12 honorary degrees and also is a member of the bar in Maryland, Connecticut and Massachusetts.


About YMCA of the USA YMCA of the USA is the national resource office for the Y, one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net

Contact: Mamie Moore YMCA of the USA 312-419-8418 media@ymca.net

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

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