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Corley takes reins at YMCA


January 16, 2013
The YMCA of Harrison County has selected Roger Corley as its new CEO. The 45-year-old Owensboro, Ky.-native began his duties Jan. 1. He succeeds Lisa Fisher, who resigned Sept. 14 after first joining the Y staff as program manager in April 2002.

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Roger Corley
Corley, who resides in Ferdinand, is no stranger to YMCAs. He worked part-time at the YMCA in Owensboro while attending Brescia University then became a full-time supervisor.

"I saw the family involvement, the family interest. I wanted to help others," he said of his decision to complete his college degree, which was in business, and continue a career in the YMCA organization.

Susan Pierson, president of the YMCA of Harrison County Board of Directors, expects Corley to be a "huge asset" to the Corydon Y.

"He loves the Y and is very enthusiastic about joining our team," she said. "We had several applicants for this position. Roger's experience and charisma will be a huge asset for our Y."

The opportunity to return to his Southern Indiana roots lured Corley from the community executive director's position with the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, with his office at the Benjamin Harrison Y and supervising two Y facilities in downtown Indy. He was there for six months.

Don't let that short stint fool you. Prior to accepting the position in central Indiana last summer, Corley spent eight years as the CEO of the Tri-County YMCA in Ferdinand that went from a rented facility to a new complex. During that time, he visited the Y in Corydon, which opened in July 2004, to see how it was operating.

In comparison, the Corydon facility is smaller than the Y Corley is leaving but it's larger than the one in Ferdinand and comparable to the one in Owensboro.

He said the Harrison County Y has held up well during the eight years it has been open and anticipates only "cosmetic" repairs as needed with use.

"Learning about the community is going to be exciting ... and working with a new staff team who wants to make things happen," said Corley, who intends to move to Harrison County in the near future.

Asked to describe his leadership style, Corley said he's a player/coach who likes to focus on "relationship building." He said he will rely on his staff to run day-to-day operations while he develops relationships with people in the community.

He also wants to review what is being done here, what works and see if there are any unmet needs that the Y might help meet.

"The critical thing is to use our mission to its fullest potential — Christian values, build healthy minds and bodies — to be a proponent of that," Corley said.

Corley has a son, Zachary, 19, who works for Holiday World, and a daughter, Hannah, 13, both of Santa Claus, and a grown daughter, Breann, and son-in-law, Phil, of Newburgh, and two grandchildren, Kason and Talin.

As of Friday, when he was to wed his fiancée, Elizabeth (Betsy) Wahl, he also has three stepchildren: Ali, 12; Amy, 8; and KayLeigh, 6.

"It all has worked out amazingly well," Corley said of his hire at the YMCA of Harrison County. "It's been a huge blessing for all of us."

Corley can be reached by e-mail at rcorley@ymcaharrison.org or by calling the Y at 734-0770.

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