CHICAGO (May 7, 2015) – YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), national office for 2,700s Ys across the country, is pleased to announce the election of eight new members to the nonprofit’s board of directors. The Y’s national board is composed of 26 members who set strategic direction and policy to guide the Y’s work to strengthen community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Y-USA welcomes the following new board members:

  • John W. Baird, principal partner at ExecutivEdge of Silicon Valley  
  • Jed Bernstein, president of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
  • Helen L. Breña, CEO of YMCA of Southern Maine
  • Jennie P. Carlson, executive vice president of human resources for U.S. Bancorp
  • Dan Heath, senior fellow at Duke University and bestselling author
  • Timothy Kelly, consultant for Youngs, Walker & Company
  • Wright L. Lassiter, III, president of Henry Ford Health System  
  • Carla Moradi, group vice president/chief information officer of enterprise shared services for Walgreen Company

“Since the Y’s founding, strong volunteer leadership has been a driving force behind our success in developing effective responses to pressing social issues,” said Kevin Washington, president and CEO, Y-USA. “I look forward to working with these eight individuals, all of whom are leaders in their respective fields. They possess unique and impressive sets of skills, experiences and accomplishments, and they are deeply committed to the Y’s mission-driven cause of strengthening community.”

Read more about the new board members below.

New Y-USA Board Members:

John W. Baird

John Baird is a principal partner of ExecutivEdge of Silicon Valley. He has more than 25 years of coaching experience and specializes in one-on-one coaching, executive development, succession planning, strategy and team development, and organizational change. Baird is an active speaker on leadership and coaching for business and professional associations, and is an emeritus senior professor in the College of Business at San Jose State University.

Baird has authored more than 50 articles and papers on organizational communication, management and organizational development. He is active in the community and has served on boards for the San Jose Rotary, the Center for Nonprofit Excellence and the YMCA of Silicon Valley, where he is also a past chair. He received his doctorate in organizational communication and management from Purdue University.

Jed Bernstein

Jed Bernstein is president of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. As an arts executive, award-winning theater producer and educator, Bernstein has been professionally engaged in the arts for more than two decades. Previously, he worked in the advertising industry for more than 15 years at Ogilvy & Mather, Ally & Gargano and Wells Rich Greene, where he helped create noteworthy, effective marketing campaigns for major clients such as American Express, IBM, Seagram’s and the New York Stock Exchange, among others.

Bernstein has taught and lectured for more than 20 years on advertising, marketing and the arts at the Yale School of Management, Yale School of Drama and other institutions. He serves on The Actors Fund Board of Trustees Executive Committee, the Theatre Authority and the Latin Media and Entertainment Commission. He has a master’s degree in business administration from the Yale School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Helen L. Breña

Helen Breña is CEO of the YMCA of Southern Maine and has worked in the YMCA Movement for more than 23 years. She previously worked for the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA, where she served many roles including chief financial officer, vice president of operations and senior vice president of operations. In Connecticut, Breña led 10 branches with more than 700 employees and 43 sites, serving 40,000 members. Her areas of focus included membership, strategic planning, fundraising and staff training.

Breña also worked with Avesta Housing as vice president of finance and management. She became a certified public account early in her professional career while working for Arthur Andersen in Hartford, Connecticut. She received a master’s degree in professional accounting from the University of Hartford and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Amherst College (Massachusetts).

Jennie P. Carlson

Jennie Carlson is the executive vice president of human resources for U.S. Bancorp. She is responsible for the corporation’s employee benefits design and administration, employee relations, payroll and all other human resources-related activities. She has 23 years of experience in the banking industry. Previously, she was executive vice president, deputy general counsel and secretary for U.S. Bancorp. In addition, she once served as general counsel for Firstar and Star Bank Corporation.

Carlson is a member of the U.S. Bancorp Managing Committee and serves on the boards of the Greater Twin Cities United Way, the Midwest Affiliate of the American Heart Association, Augsburg College (Minnesota) and the University of Minnesota Health Board. She holds a juris doctor from Vanderbilt University School of Law and was the managing editor for the Vanderbilt Law Review. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Centre College (Kentucky) and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Dan Heath

Dan Heath is a senior fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Along with his brother, Heath co-authored three New York Times bestsellers: Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and WorkSwitch; and Made to Stick. He also is a columnist for Fast Company magazine, and has taught and consulted with organizations such as Microsoft, Philips, Vanguard, Macy’s, USAID and the American Heart Association.

In 1997, Heath co-founded an innovative publishing company, Thinkwell, which continues to produce a radically reinvented line of college textbooks. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Rare, a conservation organization. He has a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree from the Plan II Honors Program, University of Texas at Austin.

Timothy Kelly

Timothy Kelly is a consultant for Youngs, Walker & Company, an executive recruiting firm for newspapers and other media. He previously was publisher of the Lexington Herald-Leader, where he also served as executive editor and editor. He began his newspaper career at 17 as a part-time sports writer for the Ashland (Kentucky) Daily Independent. He subsequently was a sports writer and copy editor for the Huntington (West Virginia) Herald-DispatchThe Miami Herald and The Louisville Courier-Journal. Kelly’s first management position was as executive sports editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He then held senior editing positions with the Dallas Times HeraldThe Denver Post, the Daily News of Los Angeles and The Orange County Register before returning to Kentucky.

Kelly is a past chair of the YMCA of Central Kentucky Board of Directors and previously served on the YMCA of the USA Board of Directors from 2004 to 2012. He also serves on the AARP National Board of Directors. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami (Florida).

Wright L. Lassiter, III

Wright L. Lassiter, III is president of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, where he oversees all hospital and service options for a six-hospital health system with more than 60 clinical locations and 23,000 employees. From 2005 to 2014, Lassiter was chief executive officer of the Alameda Health System in Oakland, California, where he led the expansion and turnaround of the $865 million public health system. Previously, he was senior vice president for operations at JPS Health Network in Fort Worth, Texas, where he managed 25 ambulatory health centers and many specialty, ancillary and support services; oversaw construction and facility management; and led planning of a 108-bed hospital expansion.

Lassiter is a member of the American College of Health Care Executives and the National Association of Health Service Executives. He served on the boards of directors of the YMCA of the East Bay, the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas and the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth. He holds a master’s degree in health care administration from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Le Moyne College (New York).

Carla Moradi

Carla Moradi is group vice president/chief information officer of enterprise shared services for Walgreen Company. She oversees all aspects of IT shared infrastructure and operations services within Walgreens including, but not limited to, service delivery and operations, data center operations, and site and database architecture.

Before joining Walgreens, Moradi managed the North American consulting operations for

Retek (now Oracle) and worked at Accenture, where she served several large retail and health care clients. She serves on Cisco’s Global Client Advisory Board and VMWare’s End User Computing Client Advisory Board. She holds a master’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in public health–hospital administration from Tulane University, and a bachelor’s degree in biology and sociology from Knox College (Illinois).


About YMCA of the USA

YMCA of the USA (Y-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 22 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.

Ryu Mizuno
YMCA of the USA

Thursday, May 07, 2015

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