The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

November 5, 2012

Baton Rouge YMCA head to take Stanly leader position

By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer

Monday, November 5, 2012 — George A. Crooker III has been selected as the new CEO of the Stanly County YMCA, according to a press release from the organization.

He is to replace current CEO John Lowder as the fifth CEO to lead  the YMCA in Stanly County.

Crooker currently serves as a Group Executive Director for the YMCA of the Capitol Area in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with responsibilities for three YMCA facilities.

He worked 16 years with YMCAs in North Carolina prior to his service in Baton Rouge.

When Crooker was previously in North Carolina he worked ten years with the YMCA of High Point, acting as Vice President and Branch Director of that association's largest branch, the Hartley Drive Family YMCA.

Crooker has also been a Branch Director for the YMCA of Gaston County and of Greensboro.

Crooker is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife Fonda, a native of Kannapolis, have two sons: Matthew, age 18, and Daniel, age 16.

Lowder's last day is on Thanksgiving, and if all goes according to plan, Crooker will begin his duties on the following Monday.

When asked about the reason for his retirement, Lowder said, “The Y needs to go to the next level and I feel like I can't take it there. This is a sound and strategic move for our board to bring him on and put him in charge.

“It's time for me to retire. I'm riding off into the sunset,” said Lowder.

“George has a deep experience and a variety of service at the YMCA. He's been in the Y movement all of his professional career. He grew up in Greensboro, graduated from UNCG and went to work for the Y immediately, thereafter.

“At Baton Rouge, he's over a number of facilities. He's really got a lot of varied experience and has a real desire to get back to NC and the heart of YMCA work. It’s one thing to be involved in district work, and he misses working intimately with the people of the community.

“George really has a servant/leader heart. He has a real desire to be in a community and a Y like this, where the mission is the most important aspect. He's a great communicator and has a great heart. He will stand out and he is the right man for our Y to take it to the next level.”

An interview with the new CEO will appear in an upcoming issue of the SNAP.