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YMCA Hires Mark Casson as new Chief Operating Officer

PAWTUCKET – The YMCA of Pawtucket has selected Mark Casson to be its new Chief Operating Officer.

Casson previously served as the COO for the Greater Valley YMCA in Allentown, Pennsylvania, from 2017 to 2020. While there, he led operations for a $11 million budget and six branches.

Casson started his new position in Pawtucket on Sept. 13.

“I’m excited to be here and work with this great staff. The Y is a huge passion for me and I welcome the opportunity to help new communities and a new organization move forward, especially as it responds to the needs that have arisen during COVID-19,” Casson said.

“Mark is a fantastic addition to the team here at the YMCA. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help us better serve our communities at a critical time. His financial management skills and team-centered approach to leadership is a great fit for the YMCA of Pawtucket,” said Charles Clifford, CEO of the YMCA of Pawtucket.

Casson began his career as a health and physical education teacher at a K-12 school. He then moved to the YMCA and worked his way up from program director to branch director. From there he became the CEO of a stand-alone branch in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania where he helped erase a $250,000 budget deficit by instituting new financial practices, outsourcing payroll, and sharing services with a neighboring Y.

In his most recent position, Casson invested over $700,000 in the YMCA’s facilities. He also worked with staff and leadership to meet revenue target and control expenses, resulting in a $1.5 million turnaround. During his time he also oversaw the implementation of a number of new programs including diabetes prevention programs, summer meals, and several special needs programs.

As COO at the YMCA of Pawtucket, Casson will be involved in all aspects of the organization, from staff and volunteer development to facilities and finances management. He is specifically charged with overseeing the three banches in Pawtucket, Lincoln, and Woonsocket and will also be tasked with building relationships with other organizations in the community.

In advance of his new position, Casson recently moved to the Ocean State. He is excited to be a first-time Rhode Islander and is looking forward to being near the coast. In what spare he has, he enjoys playing golf and is looking to adopt a cat.

About the YMCA

The Y is 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. The YMCA of Pawtucket is comprised of five branches across the state: Pawtucket Family YMCA and Heritage Park YMCA Early Learning Center in Pawtucket, MacColl YMCA in Lincoln, Westwood YMCA in Coventry and Woonsocket YMCA.

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