Shaping the future

Published 3:46 pm Friday, February 15, 2013

Tedd Maxfield, executive director for the YMCA, has been in Austin less than a year, but is already in the process of heading the YMCA in bigger directions.

The Austin Daily Herald will publish its biggest special section of the year on Sunday, Feb. 24. The 96-page special magazine highlights the best of Austin and Mower County with large photos, features and profiles. Below is a sneak peek at just a few of the special section’s unique features:

For someone who’s traveled across the country, Tedd Maxfield likes what he sees at the YMCA in Austin. As its executive director, Maxfield is busy leading the Y into a new year and potentially greater services.

Maxfield came to Austin last May, after serving as executive director at other YMCAs in Missouri, Arkansas and Ohio. Though he’s only been here less than a year, Maxfield has already seen the large impact Austin’s YMCA has on the community.

“I think so many people in the community include the Y in their lives, it’s like we’re a part of their family,” he said. “Coming to the Y is just part of their life day-to-day. So we see families with kids, we see seniors, we see people from all different income backgrounds and occupations. The Y really is a gathering point in this community.”

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Maxfield is already getting involved in Austin, as he’s a member of Vision 2020’s Community Recreation Center Committee. The community improvement initiatve dovetails nicely with Maxfield’s mission to improve fitness options for all residents in the community. Several of the local Y’s board of directors talked last year of getting the ball rolling on a Y expansion project, to enhance the Y’s presence in the community and to increase services in a building that has been in Austin since the 1960s.

While committee members are busy organizing a feasibility study on how a new recreation center can help Austin’s older residents and communities of color, Maxfield is excited over what a potential recreation center project could bring to the community.

“It looks like whatever happens with that, the new recreation center, the Y will be a significant partner in that process,” Maxfield said. “We’re really excited about the possibilities.”

For Maxfield, 2013 will bring its own challenges to the Y. Aside from continuing to let people know about the Y’s scholarship programs – the Y “doesn’t turn anybody away” and can work with people from all income levels, Maxfield said – a big part of Maxfield’s job will be to reach out to more areas of the community. As part of the Y’s 2011 strategic planning process, Maxfield will work to get more Latino and Sudanese families at the Y, which means finding out what services or activities those families would like and responding accordingly.

“We’re working very hard to make sure the demography representing our membership is similar to representing the demography of the community,” Maxfield said.