The YMCA of Metro North today announced that Lisabeth “Betsy” LaFontaine, who has served as Chief Financial Officer at the YMCA of Metro North for more than three decades, will retire at the end of the year.
LaFontaine spearheaded many initiatives in her career at the YMCA of Metro North and developed financial strategies that grew the organization’s revenue from $3.5 million to $24 million today. In 2006, she also led the financial management of the capital campaign to build the Torigian Family YMCA in Peabody, which further expanded in 2013. In 2012, she served on the Task Force to complete the merger of the Greater Lynn YMCA and the Melrose YMCA into the YMCA of Metro North, Inc. Most recently, LaFontaine secured the New Market Tax Credits that rounded out a $30 million financing package to enable the building of the new Lynn YMCA Campus coming online in late 2020.
“I have been so proud to be part of this incredible organization for so many years, transitioning from a career in banking to the nonprofit world,” said LaFontaine. “The Y has been a part of my life since I was young and I was extremely grateful to be given the opportunity.”
La Fontaine commented about the Y’s strong commitment to its mission and that regardless of the financial circumstances it experienced, the Y always found a way to provide crucial supports to its community.
“The impact of the Y is felt in subtle ways, more on an individual level than a collective level, and the ability to make a positive difference in the lives of the people we serve is the greatest reward,” said LaFontaine. “The employees, volunteers, and members of the Y are a community within a community who are working toward a common mission. This allows us access to provide services where we are most needed, and enables us to grow our impact.”
LaFontaine’s retirement marks another significant transition at the YMCA of Metro North. The announcement follows the recent appointment in January 2019 of Kathleen Walsh as President and Chief Executive Officer and the appointment in April 2019 of Andrea Baez as Senior Branch Executive Director of the Lynn YMCA.
“Betsy’s leadership and expertise throughout the years were crucial to the successful growth of our organization. Through the expansion of our facilities and programs, we are now able to serve tens of thousands of additional people each year,” said Kathleen Walsh, President and Chief Executive Officer, YMCA of Metro North. “Betsy is one of a kind. As the new CEO of the Y, I benefited greatly from her sound counsel and experience. Her diligence and hard work have put us in the best financial position possible to create an even greater impact in the community.”
LaFontaine will step down as Chief Financial Officer and will remain as a part-time support during the completion of the Lynn YMCA Campus construction project. The YMCA of Metro North is currently searching for a new, permanent Chief Financial Officer to fill the position.
“It has been a tremendous privilege to work with Betsy over the last decade. As the Y transformed over the years, Betsy ensured that all the financial functions maintained pace with our growth,” said Michael D. Brown, Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer at North Shore Bank and Chairman of the YMCA of Metro North Finance Committee. “She always accepted advice and recommendations with such grace, and always had the answers to all the trivial questions that Board members would throw at her. I wish her the very best and great health in ‘semi-retirement.’ I’m very glad that Betsy will stay on in a part-time capacity to lead us through the Lynn building project.”