Beth Linderman – Chairman of the Board of Directors
Watertown Family YMCA

Denise K. Young Brings Extensive Experience in health and wellness,
organizational and staff development and community relatons.
WATERTOWN, NY September 27, 2016– The Watertown Family YMCA announced today
that Denise K. Young will serve as the new Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1st,
2017. She will succeed Peter W. Schmitt, who has served as CEO for 20 years and will
retire the end of October, as previously announced. Mr. Schmitt has agreed to consult on an
interim basis during the transition.
Mrs. Young currently serves as Executive Director of Fort Drum Regional Health Planning
Organization (FDRHPO), a position she has held since 2007, and has more than 20 years of
experience in health, wellness, safety, and organizational development in New York State.
“It is really exciting to have Denise Young taking over the reins as CEO. She knows our
community well, has a proven track record building effective collaborations and I know that
she has the ability to maximize the potential of those she works with. Our YMCA is in good
hands and has a bright future, said Mr. Schmitt.
“We are thrilled that Denise will be bringing her experience, skills and considerable energy
to the role of CEO at the Watertown Family Y. Her understanding of health care delivery
systems is especially important as the Watertown Y continues to enhance its health and
wellness programs and collaborations,” said Beth A. Linderman, Chair of the Board of
Directors of the Watertown Family YMCA. “The Selection Committee ran an extensive
national search and had several highly-qualified candidates. Denise clearly rose to the top.
She understands and believes in the mission of the Y and will be a strong advocate for its
values in our community,” added Ms. Linderman.
"I will be leaving a great organization and I am honored to be joining another great
organization,” said Mrs. Young. She added, "The YMCA mission of service to our community
is near and dear to my heart and I am grateful for the confidence placed in me by the Board
and staff of the Y."
Mrs. Young credits a supportive Board, superb staff at FDRHPO and support from the
community over her career for helping prepare her for her next step. "It is a credit to the
mentorship that I have received that has prepared me to work with the Y Team to lead the Y
into the future. I am proud to be joining a strong Y with an important mission to serve our

As the first and only employee at FDRHPO, Mrs. Young defined and then built the strategic
capabilities of the group to meet the rapidly shifting needs of health care. She solicited over
$120 million dollars in government, grant and private funding to deliver programs to meet
identified community needs. She grew her staff to 37 as the team worked to meet,
coordinate and streamline the activities of three countywide health systems. In doing so,
she identified gaps in programs and successfully partnered with the Jefferson County
Legislature and Jefferson Community College to create a degree program in nursing to fill a
local employment void. Previously, Mrs. Young was the Director of Community Studies for
Jefferson Community College, where her responsibilities included fiscal and operational
oversight, designing data collection and community research studies. Prior to Jefferson
Community College, she spent 3 years as a Public Health Planner for Jefferson County,
where she organized a $1.5 million dollar grant to combat chronic disease and coordinated
the efforts of more than 30 private, government and not-for-profit agencies. Other
previous positions include serving as Regional Director of Employee Safety and Health for
Rexam DSI, Brownville and as Director of Employee Safety and Health for Fort James
Corporation, Carthage.
Mrs. Young received her Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in
Healthcare Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science in
Occupational Safety and Health from SUNY Empire State College.
The Watertown Family YMCA is, and always will be, dedicated to building healthy, confident,
connected and secure children, adults, families and communities. With a focus on youth
development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every
youth and teen, improves Watertown’s and Carthage’s health and well-being and provides
opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Visit us at to
learn more about our programs and services.