HELEN L. BREÑA
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Helen Breña has served the YMCA movement for almost 25 years and has served as Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA of Southern Maine since 2006. Her prior YMCA experience was with the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA, where she served many roles including CFO, Vice President of Operations, and Senior Vice President of Operations. During her 15 year tenure there, Helen led 10 branches, with over 700 employees and 43 sites, serving 40,000 members. In addition to overseeing operations and finance, Helen gained invaluable experience as she helped lead the organization through Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in her first few years. Later her experience included Affordable Housing Tax Credit Initiatives and a merger with another YMCA.
Helen moved to Portland in 2005 in order to get back to Northern New England. She worked with Avesta Housing as the Vice President of Finance and Management for a short while before returning to the YMCA Movement as the CEO of the YMCA Of Southern Maine in 2006.
Helen’s passion for her work at the Y is based on the belief that all people deserve the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. What better place to bring people from all dimensions of diversity to explore their potential and discover who they are meant to be than at the Y. This is core to Helen’s values and the YMCA mission.
Helen attended Amherst College, earning an undergraduate degree in Economics. She also earned a Masters in Professional Accounting from the University of Hartford and became a Certified Public Accountant during her early years while working for Arthur Andersen & Company in Hartford, Connecticut. Helen grew up in New Hampshire and loves being back in Northern New England. She lives in West Falmouth, where she shares her time with her partner, her dog, and two cats. In addition to family events, photography, reading, and learning the ukulele, Helen enjoys many outdoor activities including hiking, sailing, skiing, running, triathlons, and nature.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
James joined the YMCA of Southern Maine in June 2015. Previously, James was the CFO of Adfero, a Washington, D.C., public relations firm, and Fireside21, a software provider. James has over 10 years of experience in financial management. James is thrilled to make the jump from the private sector to the non-profit world and help grow and improve the Y’s ability to fulfill its mission.
James earned his MBA, with honors, from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, where he was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society. He received a B.A. in mathematics from Cornell University and also completed an M.A. in political management from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Outside of work, James is an amateur chef, a sports fan, an American history buff, as well as a Zydeco and Jazz music enthusiast. Although he was born in Cleveland, Ohio, he spent his youth in the D.C./Maryland area and lived in several communities throughout the United States before returning to settle on the East Coast. James currently lives in Portland with his wife, Ashley.
CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
Sarah Leighton joined the YMCA of Southern Maine in March 2015. Sarah brings to this position several years of experience in fundraising and measuring community impact. Previously, she worked in development and communications at Boston Community Capital, a nonprofit community development financial institution. She also worked as a researcher at the Center for Youth and Communities at Brandeis University and as a consultant at the John T. Gorman Foundation. Sarah holds a BA in political science from St. Michael's College in Vermont and an MBA in nonprofit management from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. As part of her Master’s program, she worked as a consultant for the John Andrew Mazie Memorial Foundation. Sarah enjoys sailing, hiking, skiing, and just enjoying the Maine outdoors with her husband, Ryan, and yellow lab, Nixie.
CHIEF HUMAN RESOURCES OFFICER
Jan DiMauro joined the YMCA of Southern Maine in April of 2014. Her credentials include over 15 years of Human Resource management and supervision, both in for-profit and non-profit environments. Jan’s previous experience includes guiding and managing the overall provision of Human Resources services, policies, management development, labor relations, affirmative action, salary administration, employee health and wellness, as well as assisting and advising managers about Human Resources issues. She is very excited to be part of the YMCA of Southern Maine.
She is also a current member of the Diversity Hiring Coalition, HRASM and SHRM and holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification. She is also a former volunteer Ambassador for the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and a current board member for the Catherine Morrill Day Nursery, Jan received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Maine and resides in Scarborough with her chocolate lab mix, Chelsea.
BRANCH EXECUTIVE – CASCO BAY
Scott Krouse has been employed by the YMCA of Southern Maine since 1993 and currently serves as the Branch Executive for the Casco Bay Branch. As Branch Executive, Scott has provided leadership resulting in organizational growth for fundraising, staff development, community outreach, program development, and facility expansion. Previously, Scott served as Branch Executive for the Greater Portland Branch and was also instrumental in the development of the Pineland Branch in New Gloucester. Growing up as a child in Boothbay Harbor the YMCA played an important role in his self-development and he wants to make sure that all youth have the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive at the YMCA like he did. Scott also worked for the Boothbay Regional YMCA in various positions during his college years.
Scott attended Springfield College earning an undergraduate degree in Sports Management and a Masters in Administration. As part of his Master’s program, he worked in the front office for the Boston Celtics focusing on public relations and marketing. He has served on many local and state boards. Scott resides in North Yarmouth with his wife Cindy and yellow lab “Casco”. He has many hobbies, but most of all enjoys getting outdoors participating in the numerous recreational activities the state of Maine has to offer.
BRANCH EXECUTIVE - GREATER PORTLAND
Emma joined the YMCA of Southern Maine in November 2017. She started her Y career at the YMCA of Central Florida in 2012 as a Wellness Director and most recently was the Branch Executive of the Winter Park YMCA. Emma has a background in wellness, graduating with a M.S. from the University of Georgia in Exercise Physiology and began her career working with universities and corporate wellness programs. She was drawn to the YMCA because of the Y’s mission to strengthen communities by serving all and the YMCA of Southern Maine’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Emma is thrilled to be back in New England where she was born. She enjoys reading, running, yoga, spending time with her dog Brady, and being outdoors on the beautiful coast of Maine.
BRANCH EXECUTIVE - NORTHERN YORK COUNTY
Kate Noonan joined the Y in April of 2016. She was born & raised in Lewiston Maine and has lived in South Portland for 14 years. She is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine and has a BA in Psychology and a licensed Social Worker, which she used to provide case management services through Sweetser in the Northern York County Area. Kate's professional experience has been primarily business related in both non-profit & for profit environments, with extensive training and expertise in leadership development, strategic planning, sustainability and analytics. She spent 7 years working in senior management at Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, helping to run their retail businesses and also spent almost 2 years running a small, locally owned retail business in Portland.
When not at work, Kate enjoys yoga, hiking, mountain biking, paddle-boarding and being outside in the beautiful Maine woods and on the coast. Kate also has a dog named Lex and a cat named Jade who she enjoys immensely!
BRANCH EXECUTIVE - PINELAND
Kelley Rich joined the YMCA of Southern Maine in September 2017. She brings with her 16 years of nonprofit management experience, including seven years as Executive Director and Administrator of Island Commons Resource Center, a small, 7 bed, person-oriented, assisted-living facility. More recently, Kelley served as Executive Director of the Chebeague Recreation Center on Chebeague Island, where she lived for many years. She has served on several volunteer boards and started a licensed, nonprofit child care center, The Kids’ Place, on the island in 2008. Prior to that Kelley, worked in the banking and insurance industries. She is excited to be part of the YMCA of Southern Maine team.
The ocean has long been a part of Kelley’s life and growing up she spent many summers lobstering with her family in her hometown of Falmouth. Now, back on the mainland and based in Yarmouth, Kelley’s two teenage children and her black lab Maggie keep her busy. In her spare time, Kelley loves to be outside, boating hiking, running, and competing with her sailing team.