About Us

The Central Connecticut Coast YMCA is a charitable, not-for-profit, community service organization dedicated to putting Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. The Y strengthens the foundations of communities and families through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility in twenty-four towns and cities in the Greater Bridgeport and New Haven areas. Additionally, programs and services are offered through YMCA Camp Hi-Rock located in Mount Washington, MA.

At the Y, we’re for:

  • Youth DevelopmentWe believe that every child has great potential and should be given the opportunity and guidance to reach it.
  • Healthy LivingWe believe that a healthy life is achieved by actively striving for spiritual, mental, and physical well-being.
  • Social Responsibility We believe that the Y has been given the honor, resources, and responsibility to strengthen the foundations of community and family.

Find out more about our focus.

The Central Connecticut Coast YMCA is an inclusive organization open to all. The Y believes that in a diverse world we are stronger when we are inclusive, when our doors are open to all, and when everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. At the Y, we welcome all people regardless of dimensions of diversity including race, faith, color, national origin/ancestry, sex, gender identity, marital status, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, disabilities, or socio-economic status.

In 2017, with a special focus on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, the Y served 91,289 kids, families, and adults in twenty-five towns and cities including Bridgeport and New Haven.

Character development is at the heart of the Y’s mission, and the values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility were modeled and taught to 25,931 youth in 2017. Through participation in programs including child care, youth sports, summer camping, and Youth in Government, character was built and positive values were reinforced.

Defined as the difference in academic performance between low-income kids and their more privileged peers, the education achievement gap begins early in life for many children. In 2017, the Y continued to close the gap for 1,747 low-income children through the our 8 school-readiness programs, before and after-school programs serving 72 schools, and 42 summer camp programs with a special focus on developing reading and writing skills.

The Y has been teaching kids how to swim and be safe around the water for decades. In 2017, 10,537 children participated in Y swimming lessons and water safety education programs.

Overweight, obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition affect most in our community. About one of three of our neighbors are pre-diabetic, and many do not realize the serious health consequences of leading an unhealthy lifestyle. In 2017, 35,972 youth and adults participated in Y health, wellness, education, physical activity and diabetes prevention programs and services. Additionally, 4,955 youth and adults were served through nutrition education, healthy eating, and hunger prevention programs, and 19,425 youth and adults participated in spiritual enrichment (mindfulness) programs.

Chronic homelessness is a challenge faced by many families and adults, particularly in the urban areas that we serve. With a large team of social workers and an  inventory of 415 apartments, the Y continues to serve as the largest provider of affordable and supportive housing in the state. In 2017, the number of chronically homeless adults in Bridgeport fell to 43.

As a source and resource for affordable programs and services, $3.1M in financial assistance was provided to 6,372 financially disadvantaged kids, families, and adults enabling participation in important Y programs or services.

With a special thanks to our partners, donors, staff, and the 1,569 committed volunteers who donated 30,822 hours of their time to help the Y fulfill its mission.

When you are a member of a branch of the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA, you have access to the programs and services available at all of our eleven branches and YMCA Camp Hi-Rock, a 1,000 acre overnight and day camp.

Our YMCA branches offer a variety of programs and services, including child care, fitness programs, sports leagues, swimming, summer day and resident camp, and low-income housing with support services. Take a look at our branch list, and find the branch nearest you.

For more information about the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA, please take a look at our 2017 Annual Report and follow this link to our President’s Newsletters.

We look forward to welcoming you and your family into our family!

Our History

On May 8, 1859 a small group of businessmen held their first meeting to discuss organizing a YMCA in New Haven and within a year, the YMCA started their work with outreach programs and no building of their own. Now, 150 years later, the New Haven YMCA has become the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA and has grown to 12 branches serving 75,000 people annually in a 25 town area Our YMCA is committed to caring for individuals and families, with a focus on youth. Through our leadership and diverse programs, we will advocate for those whose voices are seldom heard, improve neighborhoods, and build strong kids, strong families and strong communities.

The Boards of Directors, Managers and Trustees remain the visionaries who guide the work, identify unmet needs in our communities and ensure that we have the staff capacity and financial support to make a difference in the outcomes for our many members and program participants.

Although the work of our YMCA has changed over the years, from teaching English to immigrants in the early 1900’s to teaching values to modern day youth, our Y’s have a long record of service and programs that have brought a better quality of life to their communities. One of the greatest things our Y’s will continue to do is build character in children and adults.

Association Office

AO Front WEBThe Association Office is located in downtown New Haven and is home to all leadership staff.

1240 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Executive Management Team

David Stevenson, Ph.D. – President & CEO

Tim Bartlett – Sr. Vice President & COO

Melissa Kessell – Sr. Vice President & CFO

Michael Bonnardi – Director of Property Management

Erin Grayson – Director of Leadership Development & Human Resources

Donna Gill LisitanoMarketing and Communications Director

Janet Samelwich – Controller

Amy Wiltsie – Director Annual Campaign

Meet the team by clicking on their name.

Volunteer Leadership

The Central Connecticut Coast YMCA is governed by our Association Board of Directors that consists of volunteers from throughout the community. Each YMCA branch has its own volunteer Board which sets policy for its executive who manages the operation with full-time and part-time staff and volunteer leaders.

Association Board of Directors
  • Lissette Andino – Chair & Chief Volunteer Chair
  • Blanca Kazmierczak – Vice Chair
  • Preston Tisdale, Esq. – Vice Chair
  • James McGuinness – Vice Chair
  • Christopher Gallo – Treasurer
  • Marc Romanow – Assistant Treasurer
  • George Logan – Secretary
  • Michael Horton – Assistant Secretary
  • Dan O’Donnell – Immediate Past Chair
  • Dr. Joe Bertolino
  • Dr. Paul Broadie, II
  • Patrick Charmel
  • Leo Connors, Jr.
  • Eileen Lopez-Cordone
  • Martha Dulla
  • Vince Fini
  • Dr. Mario Garcia
  • Dr. Ceasar Irby
  • Robert Jacob
  • William Jennings
  • Melissa Kessell
  • Jon Leckerling
  • Samuel Linden
  • Patrick McGrath
  • Jatin Mehta
  • Michael Morand
  • Dr. Martha Okafor
  • Howard Olderman
  • Mike Papale
  • Andrew Patrick
  • Dustin Riedel
  • Katrina Rice
  • Andrea Seek
  • Alexis Smith
  • Dr. David Stevenson
  • Prathibha Varkey
  • Donna Wells

Board of Trustees

  • Robert Fiscus – Chair
  • Jeffrey Jones – Vice Chair
  • Michael Leone – Treasurer
  • Jerry Stagg III – Secretary
  • Lissette Andino
  • David Bjorklund
  • Sandra J. Brown
  • Christopher Gallo
  • William Maley, Sr.
  • Ronald Noren