YMCA of Metro Atlanta Announces Selection of New President & CEO

The YMCA of Metro Atlanta’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Lauren A. Koontz has been named its next President & CEO, to succeed Edward G. Munster, who will be retiring, after more than 42 years of service to the YMCA. 

“The Search Committee along with our search partners at Heidrick and Struggles were committed to running a comprehensive, inclusive and deliberate process to locate the best possible talent to be the next President and CEO of the YMCA of Metro Atlanta,” said Scott Taylor, immediate past Board Chair. “The Committee was unanimous in selecting Lauren. She is a servant leader who embodies the Y’s values in every way.” 

Lauren joined the YMCA of Metro Atlanta in 2012 as its Chief Development Officer. In this role, Lauren oversaw all fundraising efforts including annual and capital campaigns, endowed and planned gifts and community and fundraising events. During Lauren’s tenure as the Chief Development Officer, the Association’s WHY IT MATTERS Annual Giving Campaign (funding scholarships to ensure that no one is turned away from YMCA membership or programs) has grown by 136 percent. Also, Lauren led the Outdoor Vision Capital Campaign that raised more than $8 million to support capital investments at Camp High Harbour at Lake Burton and Lake Allatoona. 

In 2016, Lauren was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer. This expanded role included oversight of six membership or youth development branches; the Y’s Early Learning programs; day and resident camps, teen leadership programs; and marketing and communications functions. In addition to continuing her operational and program oversight, Lauren is also currently responsible for leading the Association’s HERE FOR GOOD capital campaign (the largest campaign in the history of the Metro Atlanta Y) to raise almost $75 million to invest in Y facilities and programs in under-resourced communities across Atlanta. The HERE FOR GOOD Campaign includes the construction of the YMCA of Metro Atlanta’s new Leadership & Learning Center on the Westside. This Center will serve as both the headquarters and support center for the larger YMCA Atlanta Association but also has a community and outreach center for the Vine City and English Avenue communities. 

“I believe in the Y’s mission, share its values, respect its history and know the deep responsibility and opportunity we have to assure the Y’s continued impact and success while driving innovation and growth for the future,” said Koontz. “Ultimately, the Y exists to respond to the changing needs of our communities and strengthen them by providing best-in-class education, wellness and youth development programming. 

“I cannot think of a more exciting time for the YMCA in the opening of its new Leadership & Learning Center on the Westside and the naming of Lauren as its new President & CEO,” said Kelly Barrett, Chair of the Board. “The YMCA is incredibly blessed to have a servant leader like Lauren. We are so appreciative of Ed’s great work in taking the YMCA to the next level during his tenure, leading the YMCA and in the grooming of Lauren to take the reins of the most successful non-profit in Atlanta. I cannot wait to see the impact that Lauren will make in the next several years.” 

“I am thrilled the search committee selected Lauren to be the Y’s new President & CEO,” said Ed Munster. “She has a proven track record of effective leadership, building essential relationships and advancing the cause and mission of the Y. She is highly respected inside and outside of the Association. I am excited to see where she takes the Y in the years ahead.” 

Koontz shared that “One of the reasons I love the Y is our authentic commitment to deepening community impact and providing access and opportunities for all individuals. Our staff and volunteers live our mission every day and model the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.” 

Lauren will assume the President & CEO role in mid-July.