Sarasota YMCA Names Laura Gilbert President and CEO

The Sarasota YMCA Chairman Paul Bowman announced today the appointment of Laura Gilbert to President and Chief Executive Officer after serving as the interim President and CEO since October 2016. Gilbert will continue to guide the operations of the Y while strategically planning for future growth. As a 20 year employee of the Sarasota YMCA, Gilbert has served the Y in many capacities including Director of Contracts, VP of Operations and Interim President and CEO.

Gilbert is the first woman to lead the organization in this role in its 71-year history. “It is an honor to become the next President and CEO of the Sarasota YMCA,” said Gilbert. “This association is known as a leader in ground breaking social impact programs and innovative collaborations across the Y movement. Continuing that tradition and implementing new programs and partnerships that meet the needs of the communities we serve is our primary focus.”

In making the announcement, Bowman stated, “Laura has proven herself to be a strong leader, relationship builder and collaborator.” He continued, “She has worked side-by-side with staff, community stakeholders and membership throughout her Y career.” He concluded, “The YMCA is confident that Laura’s leadership will result in the continued success of the many programs and services provided to over 50,000 people in our community each year, from health and wellness programs to Foster Care and Adoptions.”

A graduate of Florida State University, Gilbert earned her MBA at St. Leo University and is a Certified Fundraising Executive. She is also a member of The Association of YMCA Professionals, North American YMCA Development Organization and the Association for Fundraising Professionals.

Y.E.S. Happenings

Youthful Energetic Seniors

Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch YMCA

Mah Jong will continue to take place on Tuesdays (for ALL levels of play) from 1-4pm in the Welch Family Center, and on Thursdays (for beginners) from 1-4pm in the Welch Family Center.   Mah Jong is available FREE for our members only; if a guest wants to participate, they would pay a drop-in rate (as we do with Pickleball & Volleyball).   Please direct any questions to me.


SHINE for Medicare Insurance Counseling.   This service is available weekly on Wednesdays from 11:00-3:00 in the computer room at the Welch Family Center.   One of our members, Marian Strassman, is responsible for these Medicare insurance counseling sessions.  Her contact number is 239-470-1916 if a member wants additional information or needs to schedule an appointment.


All Ears Mobile Hearing Screening has been scheduled at the Branch for Tuesday, March 7 from 9:00-11:00am.  Their mobile unit will be located outside the front entrance.  No appointment is necessary.


Arthur Murray FREE Dance Lessons will begin again during the spring (mid-April), with a definite date to be determined.  These lessons are held weekly on a Wednesday from 1:15-2:15pm in Studio A.  The sign-up sheet will be available when I have the session date confirmed.  Please note that participants can join in at any time, as the dance instructors continuously review the steps from the previous class.  Any questions can be directed to me.


A Luncheon at Mattison’s Forty-One is scheduled for Friday, March 24 at 12:00 noon.  A sign-up list is available.


A Computer Workshop/Seminar has been scheduled for Thursday, March 30 at 10:30 in the computer room at the Welch Family Center.  A sign-up sheet is available, as space is limited.  Please direct any specific questions to me.


Working to schedule the Art Exhibition as an opportunity for our members to display their creative talents for everyone to see.  Details will be forthcoming.


Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch YMCA

Adult Dance Party: Every Saturday night there is an Adult Dance Party from 7:30pm-10:30pm with big band music. $10 admission. Open to public.

Beginner Bridge/Open Play is on Mondays @ 12:30pm in the Multi Purpose Studio.

Intermediate Bridge Play with instruction by Eric Kaye is every Wednesday @ 11:30am in the Board Room of the Bari Brooks Teen Center.

Mah-jongg open play is every Friday @ 11:30am in the Multi Purpose Studio.

Arthur Murray Dance Lessons held weekly on Wednesday from 11:30am-12:30pm in Studio B. The lessons are offered FREE to our members. Sign Up is encouraged. Call Rhonda Kapusta @ 941-955-8194 x107 if interested.

Adult Tap Advanced and Intermediate is offered on Thursdays 1pm for Advanced and 2pm for Intermediate.

Paul Bowman Elected as New Board Chair at Sarasota Family YMCA


The Sarasota Family YMCA is pleased to announce Paul Bowman has been elected as the new board chair at the Sarasota Family YMCA.

Mr. Bowman has long been associated with the YMCA through the YMCA Foundation of Sarasota, the entity that served as the fundraiser for the YMCA from 1991 until September of 2016.  Mr. Bowman served in various leadership positions for the Foundation including board chair from May 2004 until June 2015. Mr. Bowman has been honored by the YMCA many times over the years, including recognition as the YMCA’s First Citizen in 2015.    

“I’ve always been proud to be associated with the YMCA,” said Mr. Bowman.  “Helping others has been a central focus of my life. I’m happy to step into the Board Chair position so this great organization can continue to serve our community and help others.”  

Mr. Bowman starts as chair immediately and will serve in that role for the next 18 months. Mr. Bowman says he will be focused on renewing fundraising efforts and reconnecting donors to the YMCA’s mission as well as focusing on strategic direction.  Fundraising responsibilities have been since reorganized internally within the YMCA.

“We are thrilled Paul has agreed to step into this leadership role,” said Sarasota Family YMCA Interim President and CEO Laura Gilbert. “Paul will provide exceptional leadership and direction for the YMCA, and I look forward to working with him and the entire board to build upon all the positive momentum we have.”

Sarasota YMCA Open House Saturday, January 21


No Joiner's Fee!

Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch
8am - 1pm

    8am & 9:30am BodyPump 100
    11am BANG Power Dance demo

Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch
9am - 2pm

    8am, 9:15am & 10:30am BodyPump 100

Sharks Swim Team ranked 6th in nation by USA Swimming Club Excellence program

Congratulations to our Sarasota YMCA Sharks Swim Team for being ranked 6th in the nation by the USA Swimming Club Excellence program. We are so proud of our swimmers, coaches, staff, volunteers and Sharks families who make this one of the best swim programs in the country. Congratulations to head coach Brent Arckey for leading this team to continued success.

Thanksgiving Group Exercise Schedule

Thursday, November 26
Open until 1pm


Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch


9-10am YOGA – SUSAN H.

9-9:30am SPRINT – JAYA

Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch

7:45-8:45am ZUMBA - JANET
10:15-11:15am BODYPUMP - GILLIAN
11:30am-12:30pm DANCETRANCE (no breakdown class) - CANDACE

10:15-11:15am MUSCLE WORKS - KELLY

9:30-10am GRIT – ERIC

9-10am CYCLE – JANET



Bladel Foundation awards $10,000 grant to Sarasota YMCA

The Sarasota Family YMCA is pleased to announce the award of $10,000 from the Harold C. and Jacqueline F. Bladel Foundation of Northern Trust Bank. The Y will utilize the gift to fund the Schoolhouse Link program. Schoolhouse Link provides educational support for homeless youth, unaccompanied minors and their families.

This generous support will help the Y continue to further its mission to “build strong kids, strong families, strong communities,” by fostering lasting personal and social change for needy youth and families.  

Sarasota Family YMCA announces interim CEO Laura Gilbert

The Sarasota Family YMCA announced interim CEO Laura Gilbert assumed the role as President and CEO of the nonprofit on September 30, 2016.

Gilbert will succeed Kurt Stringfellow, who announced he had accepted the position as President and CEO of the YMCA of Columbia. 

Gilbert, who will celebrate 20 years at the Sarasota YMCA this January, currently serves as the Vice President of Operations at the Evalyn Sadlier Branch YMCA, where she directs the day-to-day operations of three branches, including the Selby Aquatic Center and oversees 15 departments serving an average of 2,000 people daily. Fred Jacobs, Sarasota YMCA Chair of the Board of Directors said “Laura has played in integral role in the growth and stability of the Y. She acquired and administered over $28 million annually in funding for YMCA initiatives as Director of Contract Administration. As the Vice President of Operations, Gilbert brought new programs to the branches such as Livestrong, spearheaded a major software upgrade and her branch was recognized nationally from YMCA of the USA for pioneering the Y.E.S. (Youthful Energetic Seniors) program. We are confident that Laura will bring a new vision and energy to the mission-driven organization.”

Gilbert is prepared and ready for the challenge, she said. “I’m honored and excited about the opportunity,” she said. “Our top priority remains the same – focusing on the needs of our community and making sure that everyone feels welcome and accepted.” 

A resident of Bradenton, Gilbert received her bachelor’s degree from the Florida State University and earned her master’s degree from St. Leo’s University. Gilbert is also a certified fundraising executive (CFRE). 

NEW combined Berlin/Babe Schedule begins Monday, September 26 at the Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch

14 more group exercise classes will be offered featuring Babe favorites! Also, the Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch will be opening at 5am starting Monday, October 10.


FAQs for Berlin Schedule Changes

Why is Prime Time start time changing?
To accommodate the additional classes we are bringing to the Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch.

Why is Sit & Fit start and end times changing?
We moved the time up to accommodate the additional classes we are bringing to the Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch. We also changed the class time from 60 minutes to 45 minutes in accordance with recommendations of the Silver Sneakers programs.

Why did you change the 8am Body Flow classes to Muscle/Stretch?
We added Body Flow to M/W/F@ 11am. With the consolidation of the two branches, we sought to bring in established classes at Babe while still providing our popular programming already at Berlin.

Why is my favorite instructor no longer teaching the class?
We are thrilled to expand our instructor family and know that it will only improve our programming for you, the member.

Why did you remove the Friday evening Zumba?
While we tried to create a schedule to merge two very busy programming schedules, some accommodations had to be sought. We do offer Zumba on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Why did you remove the Wednesday night Zumba class?
In consolidating the two branches some difficult decisions had to be reached. We understand that Zumba has a great following as does Dance Trance. We felt this change offered the best solution. You can still Zumba with David on Monday evenings @ 5:30pm.

Why Dance Trance is now offered at different times?
The morning Dance Trance classes were moved to accommodate additional classes. We are also pleased to be able to offer the additional classes on Wednesday and Saturday as they are favorites with all members.

Why did the 12 noon Body Pump classes on Tuesday/Thursday change?
We pushed the time back to 12:15pm to accommodate those on their lunch hour. We also added a CX option on Tuesday.

Why is Balance Fit at a different time?
In order to accommodate additional classes, some existing classes needed to move.    

Why are there two Body Pumps on Friday afternoon?
To accommodate those who work and cannot make the already very popular 4:15pm Body Pump.


Downtown Babe Weiller Branch Consolidating with Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch

As you may be aware, our lease at the Babe Weiller Branch expires on October 31, 2016. Over the last several years, we have worked tirelessly to negotiate favorable rental rates with the landlords, identify funding for the required tenant improvements and locate alternative space. Unfortunately, we have not been successful in these endeavors. The combination of declining membership revenue, high downtown rental rates and the cost of tenant improvements has forced us to make the difficult decision to consolidate the Babe Weiller Branch with the Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch effective Friday, October 7. 

The newly renovated Berlin Branch (located just east of downtown at 1075 South Euclid Avenue) is ready to welcome you. Many of your favorite group classes will be incorporated in the Berlin schedule (view schedule), and your Babe Weiller instructors will still be teaching those classes. The Berlin Branch offers additional amenities, including a pool, more studios and classes, larger changing rooms, child watch and larger social areas to congregate with friends. Staff and volunteers are waiting to give you a tour of the facility, connect you to classes and programs and answer any questions you may have. A welcome breakfast will be held Monday, October 10 at 8am and luncheon will be held on Tuesday, October 11 at 11:30am. We hope to see you there!

Thank you for your membership and support which enable the Sarasota YMCA to further our mission to build strong kids, strong families and strong communities. If you have any questions, please visit the Babe Weiller Membership Desk or call (941) 366-6778. 

Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch Les Mills Mini Quarterly September 9-10

Friday, September 9

w/Master Trainer Andy Parrish
(Zumba @ 5:45pm will be in Studio B)

Saturday, September 10

Zumba 7:30 – 8:30am (this week only)
ALL other classes are cancelled
Mini Quarterly – Must pre-register to attend the workshop

Regular schedule

GRIT @ 9:30am is cancelled

Labor Day Group Exercise Schedule

Monday, September 5
Open until 1pm


Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch

9am BodyPump - Steve
10:15am Dance Trance - Candace

Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch

7:45am Tone & Sculpt – Judy
9am Pilates – Judy
10:15am BODYPUMP (30 minute format) - Michelle
10:45am BODYATTACK (30 minute format) - Michelle
11:15am CXWORX - Michelle

9am CYCLE – Kathy

9:30am GRIT – Charlie

Babe Weiller Branch

5:45am Cycle
7am Pilates
8am Muscle/Strength
9:15am Safe & Strong
11:15am BodyFlow



Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch & Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch



Kurt Stringfellow, President & CEO of the Sarasota Family YMCA, Inc., announces resignation

Kurt Stringfellow, President & CEO of the Sarasota Family YMCA, Inc., announced his resignation on Thursday, July 21 to pursue an opportunity to return to his “southern roots” that he and his family could not pass up. Kurt would like to express his gratitude for the support he received from the community, leadership and staff over the years. “These relationships and results are embedded deep into my heart and I will be forever thankful,” said Kurt Stringfellow.

Under his leadership since November 2012, the Sarasota YMCA has revitalized the organization’s culture and cause, while financially stabilizing the organization and strengthening branch operations, including returning our CBC to being a leader in child welfare. Kurt championed efforts to raise the Y’s profile, incorporating national Y-USA health initiatives such as LiveStrong at the YMCA and Diabetes Prevention Program.

We are grateful for how well platformed Kurt has positioned the Y for the future. We look forward to continued success and leadership as we transition into our next phase of growth and service to the community. 


Independence Day Group Exercise Schedule

Monday, July 4
Branches open until 1pm


Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch

Cycle with Jaya

Tai Chi with Gail

Dance Trance with Courtney


Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch

Tone & Sculpt 7:45am
Pilates 9am
BodyPump 10:15am

Cycle 8am

GRIT 9:30am


Babe Weiller Branch

5:45-7am Cycle
7-8am Pilates
8-9am Muscle/Stretch
9:15-10:15am Safe & Strong
11am-12pm BODYFLOW™