Our Vision

The YMCA of Southern Maine is committed to building strong kids, individuals, families, and communities through programs and services that promote a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all, regardless of ability to pay.

Leadership

 

Helen Brena

Helen L. Breña
Chief Executive Officer

Helen Breña has worked for the YMCA movement for over 23 years and has served as Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA of Southern Maine since 2006. Helen’s 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 tenure there, Helen led 10 branches, with over 700 employees and 43 sites, serving 40,000 members. Her areas of focus included membership, strategic planning, fundraising, and staff training.

Helen moved to Portland in 2005 in order to get back to Northern New England. Prior to coming to the YMCA of Southern Maine, Helen worked with Avesta Housing as the Vice President of Finance and Management; bringing another level of experience, specifically in affordable housing.

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, and reading, Helen enjoys many outdoor activities including hiking, sailing, skiing, running, triathlons, and nature.

 

 

Laurie Jo Ready
Chief Financial Officer

Laurie Jo Ready joined the YMCA of Southern Maine in May 2011. She brings 25 years of accounting experience, working primarily for non-profits in environmental education, social services, and healthcare. Laurie Jo graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a BS in Accounting.

Laurie Jo is an active member of the Biddeford-Saco Rotary and has enjoyed volunteering through out her career. Her YMCA experience dates back to participating as a YMCA camper at the former Camden, Maine YMCA.  Her interests include family, photography, travel, reading, and card making. Laurie Jo resides in Biddeford with her husband Jim.

 

 

 

Anne-Marie Brown
Executive Director - Pineland Branch

Anne-Marie Brown began her Y career as the Director of Development and Communications in 2001, and later served as the Marketing and Membership Director for the association. However, her first connection with the Y began as a child when she learned to swim at the Old Colony Y in her hometown of Brockton, Massachusetts. Her experiences as a child swimming at the Y, and at the Y's Camp Yomechas, left a positive impression that led her back to the Y after relocating to Maine. However she soon learned that working at the Y was even more rewarding than she expected - drawing from her passion for creating opportunities for healthy living (especially for families), building community and fostering relationships with wonderful Y members. In 2006 Anne-Marie moved from the Y's corporate office and joined the team at the Casco Bay Branch as the Senior Director.  In September 2012 she stepped into the role of Executive Director for the Pineland Branch.

Anne-Marie graduated from Boston College with a degree in Communications. Her prior work experiences provided a foundation in public relations, event planning, and non-profit management. She lives in Falmouth with her husband, Pete, and two children, Elizabeth and Zack.

 

 

 

 

Hildy Ginsberg
Executive Director - Portland Branch

Hildy Ginsberg came to the YMCA of Southern Maine in March of 2008.  She brought with her over 10 years of YMCA experience in New York and Connecticut. Although Hildy grew up participating in her local YMCA in Kansas City, Kansas and learned how to swim there, she discovered that working for the Y would be even better. After serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer in New York City, Hildy took the job of Communications and Public Relations Director at the Vanderbilt YMCA in midtown Manhattan. Hildy took one year off from Y work to travel the country working for French Meadow Bakery, an organic bread company, spreading the health benefits of natural food. Although worthwhile work, Hildy missed the members and being a part of a YMCA community. Until becoming Executive Director of the Greater Portland YMCA, Hildy served as Director of Membership & Marketing and then Senior Program Director at the Fairfield YMCA in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Hildy has a broad range of operational experience and specific experience in membership, marketing, public relations, grant writing, and staff development. She also brings a housing perspective from her years working at the Vanderbilt YMCA and her involvement over seven years with Youth Service Opportunities Project (YSOP), a homeless services organization in New York City.

Hildy has settled in Scarborough with her husband, Adam, and two children, Mia and Henry.

 

 

Scott Krouse

Scott Krouse
Executive Director - Casco Bay Branch

Scott Krouse has been employed by the YMCA since 1993. As Executive Director, Scott has provided leadership resulting in organizational growth for fundraising, community outreach, program development, and facility expansion. Previously, Scott served as Executive Director for the Greater Portland YMCA and was also instrumental in the development of the Pineland YMCA in New Gloucester. He was raised in Boothbay Harbor, Maine and 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 Masters program he worked for the Boston Celtics, in the front office, focusing on public relations and marketing. Scott resides in North Yarmouth with his wife Cindy. He serves on the following Boards; Sports Done Right, Maine Governor’s Council on Physical Activity, and Healthy Portland/Healthy Casco Bay. Scott has many hobbies, but most of all enjoys getting outdoors participating in the numerous recreational activities the state of Maine has to offer.

 

 

Heather Gendron
Executive Director - Northern York County Branch

Heather Gendron joined the Northern York County Family YMCA in 1993 which is now one of the four branches of the YMCA of Southern Maine. She has been at the Northern York County Branch for 18 years, starting out as a part-time After School Childcare Assistant during her senior year of high school. Throughout her years at the Y, she has held many positions and brings a broad range of experience, specifically in childcare and membership. After 5 years in her most recent position as Operations Director, Heather accepted the position of Executive Director.

Heather grew up in Biddeford with her parents and 3 sisters. She attended the University of Maine. She currently lives in Biddeford with her husband Jeff and 2 daughters, Aliyah and Chloe. She is very passionate about the Biddeford Saco community and has been volunteering her time as an active member of the Biddeford Saco Rotary Club for the past 6 years.

 

 

 Claire Schreiber

Claire Schreiber
Administrative Director

Claire Schreiber joined the YMCA of Southern Maine in June 2011. Claire’s prior experience with the YMCA was working at YMCA Camp Onyahsa while in high school and college. She has lived throughout the country and moved to Maine from Denver, Colorado in 2010. Prior to joining the YMCA of Southern Maine, she worked for Camp Leaders, an international staffing agency that placed foreign students at American camps. During her time with Camp Leaders she spent her summers as the Senior Program Director at Wyonegonic Camps in Denmark, Maine, organizing the lazy, crazy days of summer for 100 campers and close to 30 staff members. The time she spent at camp showed her the incredible impact that an organization focusing on youth development and healthy living can have on a community.

Claire grew up south of Buffalo, NY with her four siblings and attended St. Bonaventure University where she graduated with a BA in History and went on to get her Master's in Adolescent Education. And, as you would imagine from someone who met their husband while working at summer camp, enjoys camping, hiking, swimming, and all the other wonderful outdoor pursuits Maine has to offer! If she’s not outside or at the Y she can be found whipping up creations in her kitchen; much to her husband’s delight (or despair depending how the recipe turned out)!

 

 

 Kayla Paydos

Kayla Paydos
Brand Advocate Director

Kayla Paydos joined the YMCA of Southern Maine in February 2012.  She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2011 with a BA in Communication and an Option in Marketing. Kayla brings marketing experience from several internships, including a marketing and membership internship at the Piscataquis Regional YMCA in her hometown of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine.

Growing up in Dover-Foxcroft with her parents and brother and their friendly black labrador, the Y became a part of her life at a young age, when she learned to play soccer, basketball, and softball through their youth sports programs. She learned first hand the impact the Y has on youth development and healthy living. Kayla enjoys traveling, photography, spending time with her family and friends, and in the summertime, can be found relaxing by her pool at home!