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Yates Community Center Appoints New President, VP


The Yates Community Center has new leadership on its Board of Directors. Dr. Suzamie Farnsworth has been appointed the new President of the Board. She will take over from Dr. Leigh Berry who is stepping down from the role after serving two consecutive terms.

Dr. Suzamie Farnsworth, who has served on the YCC Board since 2019 and as Vice President since 2022, brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to her new role as President. Dr. Farnsworth has been instrumental in shaping the strategic direction of the YCC and is well-prepared to lead the organization into its next phase of development.

“I applaud the accomplishments of Leigh as Board President, she has been steadfast in her purpose to build space for the community to gather year-round. The board shares that aspiration and together we will accomplish this for our community,” shared Dr. Farnsworth.

Jill Bird, who joined the YCC as Executive Director in 2022 and subsequently became a Board member, has been appointed the new Vice President of the Board. Jill has played a crucial role in streamlining the organization’s processes, particularly in the Fitness Center, and her contributions have significantly enhanced the operational efficiency of the YCC.

The YCC extends its deepest gratitude to Dr. Leigh Berry for her outstanding contributions and unwavering commitment to the organization and the community.   Berry, who joined the Board in 2019, is stepping down from her role as President after serving 2 successful consecutive terms.

Dr. Berry oversaw the creation of ELEVATE Youth, an arm of the YCC dedicated to strengthening the community through comprehensive programming for children and youth, allowing them to grow in areas such as self-confidence, leadership, responsibility, and respect while participating voluntarily in the community. She also helped cultivate the relationship between the YCC and Penn Yan Academy’s Cross-Country team, which still utilizes the YCC’s outdoor trails for practice and meets.

Dr. Berry was instrumental in championing the YCC’s Outdoor Development. She secured funding and garnered community interest in adding an accessible playground, basketball and pickleball courts, and an outdoor pavilion to the YCC’s grounds. During this phase of development, Dr. Berry also worked diligently behind the scenes, even securing $2.2 Million from the Yates County Legislature, to bring the future new facility to fruition. Her vision for the YCC’s new facility has remained steadfast – it’s essential for the community’s growth and well-being.

“The importance of having a central space where members of our community can gather for recreational activities cannot be overstated,” shared Dr. Berry. “Communities benefit greatly from access to consistent quality recreational experiences, both physically and mentally.

Dr. Berry continued, “Local events bring the community together, increasing social bonds and meaningful connections. Having a fully functioning year-round facility will positively transform our community and is critical for enhancing our community’s connectedness. Simply put, communities are better when they can gather together.”

Most recently, Dr. Berry played a pivotal role in securing substantial funding for the organization’s new facility, including a significant $1.5 million grant through the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative.

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