"The Southeast Ventura County YMCA is where it is today--its long-term growth and service to the community--in large part because of Jim King," says Rick Politte, president/CEO of the Southeast Ventura County YMCA.
King's experience with the YMCA began in 1983 when his daughter became a YMCA Indian Princess in Simi Valley before a branch had been established in the city. King became active in the Indian Guides and was soon on the council that oversaw all Indian Guides in what was then known as the Tri-Valley YMCA (predecessor to the current Southeast Ventura County YMCA). In 1984, he was part of a group of volunteers who raised $31,000 as seed money to start a Simi Valley YMCA branch. King became a founding board member. The Simi Y began in classrooms at St. Frances of Assisi Episcopal Church in 1984.
When the search began for a new Simi Y executive director later that year, King's wife suggested he apply. "I decided it was time for a career change," remembers King." "I wanted to do something I loved." He was offered the position in 1985 and was Simi Y executive director for 16 years.
While at the Simi Y, King oversaw the development of before- and after-school programs, a preschool program, summer camp and resident camp. The Indian Guides program grew. In the late 1990s, the Y secured donated property on Cochran Street, raised $2,2 million during a capital building campaign and the Simi Family YMCA facility opened its doors on June 10, 2000.
Soon after, then Southeast Ventura County YMCA CEO John Rutherford asked King if he would join the Y's corporate staff. King agreed and over the last several years has been in charge of risk management, finance, information technology, human resources and special projects.
During his tenure, King has seen the Y grow in size and importance to the community. "In 1984, we had an operating budget of $200,000 and served between 1,500 and 2,000 people," says King. "Now, our operating budget is $7.8 million, includes four branches and serves between 25,000 and 30,000 people a year."
Looking forward, King hopes that the Y will continue to remember its community-based roots. "Our programs such as the Indian Guides, Youth and Government, childcare and camps are life changing," says King. "It's those programs that make the biggest impact on the community. They touch people in very special ways."
The Southeast Ventura County's four branches serve communities in Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Westlake Village, Oak Park, Agoura Hills, Moorpark, Santa Rosa Valley and Simi Valley. For information, go to http://www.sevymca.org.
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With branches in Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Westlake Village and Simi Valley, the Southeast Ventura County YMCA serves the communities of Newbury Park, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Santa Rosa Valley, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills and Oak Park.