November 8, 2021—The YMCA of Hamilton|Burlington|Brantford Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Manny Figueiredo as their next President & Chief Executive Officer effective March 1, 2022. Figueiredo currently leads the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board [HWDSB] as Director of Education and brings more than 13 years of executive leadership in the education sector to his new role at the YMCA. He will succeed Jim Commerford who retires in early 2022 after more than 40 years of YMCA service, including 18 years as President & CEO with the YMCA of Hamilton|Burlington|Brantford.

“The experience of our communities throughout the pandemic underscored how critical a future-oriented leader would be in the months and years ahead,” said Karmel Sakran, Chair, YMCA Board of Directors. “We anticipate continued transformation of our YMCA as we work with organizations to impact health and social needs of individuals and families, promote safe spaces and communities of belonging and support rebuilding and recovery efforts. Manny is a recognized and respected community-builder and a passionate YMCA advocate. We’re thrilled to welcome Manny to lead this change and bring his extensive expertise and leadership to support the continued development of our YMCA.”

Figueiredo’s career in the education sector spans more than 25 years. As HWDSB Director of Education for the past 7 years, he successfully led the development of HWDSB’s community partnerships strategy to support student achievement and well-being and established the Board’s first Human Rights Office to advance anti-racism and anti-oppression policies and procedures. Prior his role as Director, Figueiredo served as Executive Superintendent and Superintendent of Education for HWDSB, as well as Superintendent of Education with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.

Figueiredo’s appointment concludes an 8-month national search process completed by a Search Committee, led by John Chisholm, Past-Chair, YMCAHBB Board of Directors, and supported by YMCA Canada.  

“Our Search Committee recognized almost immediately the critical strengths Manny would bring given his leadership in education, a sector that continues to experience transformation and change,” said John Chisholm Chair, YMCA CEO Search Committee. “We’ve also shared an incredible partnership with HWDSB through our child care, newcomer, settlement and community outreach programs, and this has only grown and flourished under Manny’s leadership.
We know Manny will continue to be an important bridge between our two organizations and continue his strong record of partnership development.”
 
For Figueiredo, the new role offers an ability to bring his skills and expertise to a place he’s remained connected to throughout his life.

“I’m humbled to return to the YMCA and to be selected for this community leadership role,” says Figueiredo. “As a young child of immigrant parents, my local YMCA was one of the few safe and welcoming spaces my family could afford to send me. In my early career, I worked at my local YMCA and continued to volunteer even as I began teaching. I look forward to building upon the strong foundation that’s been established and working with partners across our community to ensure that more people of all backgrounds and abilities have access to the YMCA programs and services they need to thrive, just like I did.”

Founded in 1856, the YMCA of Hamilton| Burlington|Brantford [YMCAHBB] is one of the largest and most diverse charities in Ontario. Our vision is to create vibrant and healthy communities where everyone belongs and have opportunities to reach their full potential. With a focus on inclusion and accessibility, the YMCA enables people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to be served across all stages of life. With more than 120 YMCA program sites throughout Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford & Haliburton, the YMCA offers health, fitness and aquatics programs, child care, community outreach, day and overnight camp and employment and immigrant services.