Longtime YMCA executive Jill Robie will relocate from Orono, Me., to become interim executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Y beginning Monday, Nov. 2.
Ms. Robie will take over from Margaret (Peg) Regan, the retired regional high school principal who has been acting in the role since August. Construction of the 38,000-square-foot center in Oak Bluffs began in May; the first phase of the complex is expected to be completed in May 2010.
The president of the Martha’s Vineyard YMCA board of directors, Chuck Hughes, said the arrangement with Ms. Robie is on an interim basis because it is a critical role for the Island Y and a signifcant move for Ms. Robie and her children, one in third and one in ninth grade. Ms. Robie’s eldest child is a freshman at the University of Rhode Island on a swimming scholarship.
After several job interviews with Ms. Robie, Mr. Hughes said they decided, “We’ll bring you down, let’s work together to open the new building and let’s set a time where we mutually reach a decision whether this is the place for you and you are the person for us.” That time should be around February, he said, adding he was confident she would be a good fit.
Ms. Robie has been running the Old Town Orono YMCA for the past five years, Mr. Hughes said. That 60,000-square-foot center, a retrofit of a W.T. Grant store, includes a pool and fitness center, as well as teen, adult and child care programs.
“She’s opened Y’s, she’s managed them, run them,” Mr. Hughes said. “I think she’s looking forward to starting something new.”
The first phase of the YMCA complex on the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road will include an indoor pool, wellness center, teen center, cafe and meeting rooms.
“By mid February we should be set for which programs we want to run, and we’ll have a good feel for the space — I think we already do — and Jill will be establishing the programs and beginning to look at people we need to hire,” Mr. Hughes said.
Prior to the YMCA in Orono, where the University of Maine is located, Ms. Robie worked at a Y in Wilton, Conn., and another in Greenwich, Conn.
Originally from Connecicut, Ms. Robie is a graduate of Southern Methodist University.