- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 6, 2004

Gene T. Jones has taken the lead at the YMCA Anthony Bowen center in Northwest as its new executive director.

Mr. Jones, 36, is responsible for the day-to-day activities and overall management of the center, one of 22 branches with the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.

He also is the association’s D.C. executive, in charge of managers for the Anthony Bowen location and the three other branches in the District: National Capital, Capital View and the Esther Peterson Child Development Center at the Labor Department.

The four locations have about 5,000 participants and 400 employees, representing an $8 million budget.

“One thing that really excited me is that these D.C. centers are going through a growth stage and new way of thinking,” Mr. Jones said.

Mr. Jones, who has been on the job for two weeks, is in the midst of YMCA of Metropolitan Washington’s budget planning process and getting the D.C. centers ready for summer camp.

He will play a greater role at the Anthony Bowen center, helping it include more child-care programs and fitness classes after the building is renovated.

Internal renovations are expected to cost about $4 million, he said.

Mr. Jones has been working with the association for 15 years, starting out in various summer camp positions while he was a student.

Among other roles, Mr. Jones has served as a summer camp counselor, after-school director, membership-services director, front-desk clerk and youth-sports director at YMCA centers in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.

He is a former executive director for the YMCA South DeKalb in Decatur, Ga., managing a $6.8 million operation with 400 employees, two child-care centers and 23 after-school sites. While at that center, Mr. Jones also completed a $4.5 million capital campaign that was part of a $6 million building expansion.

Angie Reese-Hawkins, president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, said she picked Mr. Jones because of his experience.

“Gene is great at connecting with a community. He has wonderful financial management and fund-raising skills,” she said.

Mrs. Hawkins said she put Mr. Jones in charge of all four centers in the District to ensure that residents can access all that YMCA has to offer.

“For example, if one center does not have a pool for children’s swim classes, Gene will make sure they have access to another center that has a pool,” she said.

Mr. Jones and his wife, Stephanie, are relocating to the Washington area with their two children.

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