Our staff is deeply and passionately committed to the Prescott YMCA and its mission. They are individuals who foster a sense of fellowship and belonging. As ambassadors to health and community, the Prescott YMCA staff welcomes you!
Our Program Directors - Contact Information
Executive Director - Damon Olsen
Damon Olsen joins our team as the Y's Executive Director, following Allan Klinikowski's retirement. Damon comes to us with over 19 years of YMCA experience, most recently in Mesa, where he was the Senior Executive Director of the Ross Farnsworth-East Valley and Mesa Family YMCAs. During his nine years in Mesa, Damon raised over $5 million for the YMCA and led a $350,000 sports field renovation project, partnering the Mesa Family YMCA with the City of Mesa and various community organizations.
Damon has extensive experience in fund raising and community partnerships and collaborations, as well as a deep passion for community development and involvement.
Joining Damon in his move to Prescott will be his wife of 19 years and their three kids. We are very excited to welcome him and his family to the Prescott YMCA and hope that you will take the time to do the same!
Associate Director - Laura Winniford-Hodgins
I am so excited to be back working for the YMCA. After working here 17 years, I took a year and a half off and moved to Flagstaff. I recently got married and my husband and I have bought a new home in Chino Valley. I have worked in a variety of departments and when the Child Care Director position opened, I jumped at the chance at returning to my “second home.”
After listing the position of Associate Director here at our YMCA, following the retirement of Diane Beneitone, and having interviews, a decision was made to hire long time YMCA employee Laura Winniford-Hodgins. Laura brings 19 years of YMCA experience (here at the Prescott YMCA) and a wealth of program and special event experience as well as several key contacts in our community.
Aquatics Director - Kelly Winkels
Kelly moved to Prescott in 2007 and received her lifeguard certification within her first week in town. After receiving certification she started working for the Prescott YMCA teaching swim lessons and guarding. After a year she moved to Flagstaff and began working at the Wall Aquatic Center where she received her Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard Instructor certifications. On holiday breaks and vacations Kelly returned to the YMCA to help lifeguard and teach lessons. She studied abroad in Germany, worked at Camp Pontiac in New York as a Waterfront/ Pool Director and has been to several pools across Arizona training lifeguards and swim instructors. She has 2 Bachelors degrees in German and English Education. Between teaching swim lessons and lifeguards, Kelly assists with the Arizona steering committee, for the American Red Cross, training new instructor trainers how to teach the Red Cross curriculum. She was an Aquatics Director at the YMCA of Southern Arizona, but is happy to take on a new role as the Aquatics Director at the Prescott YMCA where she is at home in the mountains.
Business Director - Marsha Hollaway
My YMCA story starts with being a Member for the past 15 years. I became an employee in 2005 as an Indoor Cycling Instructor. Through the years I have gained experience and certifications to teach a wide variety of classes at the YMCA. When the Payroll/HR position became available, I applied and was hired in April 2012. When the Business Director position became available, I applied and was hired in March 2013. I have a BA degree in Broadcast Communications from Western Kentucky University and an MBA degree from ASU. I continue to teach Indoor Cycling, Aqua Aerobics, and Core and More. If you don't see me at the Y, I'm probably in the Grand Canyon!
Child Care Director - Rachelle Skvarek
Rachelle has over 20 years of experience in child care in Phoenix. She brings knowledge and passion to the YMCA with her love of the field and desire to make Y child care the best it can be. Rachelle continues working with First Things First, Quality First and Smart Support programs that provide resources, and support to the Y child care department.
Dance Coordinator - Trisha Soriano
Trisha Soriano started working in the Aquatics department in 2004, life-guarding and teaching swim lessons, and was given the opportunity to run the department as the director in November of 2010. Her daughter Amry began dancing at the Y in 2012 and now Trisha is overseeing the dance department as well as teaching private swim lessons.
Health & Wellness Director - Mary Byrne
Mary has been employed by the Prescott YMCA since February of 2005. At that time, she was hired as a Personal Trainer and First Step Coach. Today, she is the Fitness Coordinator for the Fitness Department, overseeing about 40 Group Fitness Instructors and Personal Trainers combined. She still works with clients on a one on one basis and also teaches Stretch n Flex, Pump Iron and Boot Camp classes. Over the years that she has been employed here, the members have become and extended family to her. The YMCA is a community of people that come together every day with diverse backgrounds and common interests. “I am blessed to be a part of this organization and I hope it will be a strong relationship for years to come!”
Gymnastics Director - Jon Sebastian
Jon has been coaching gymnastics since 1975 and owned his own club in Brighton, Colorado. His experience, enthusiasm and passion for the position provide him with the necessary tools to instill confidence, strength and grace in the Y's female gymnasts. He enjoys seeing the gymnasts improve and has found a wonderful community with the the coaches, athletes and Y families.
Membership Director - Amber Blanchard
Raised in Texarkana, Arkansas, Amber grew up playing a variety of sports and participating in numerous recreation programs. Her appreciation for health, fitness and quality of life, led her to pursue a career in inclusive recreation and fitness. She graduated from the University of Arkansas with a B.S.E. in Recreation Therapy and became nationally certified as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. With over twenty years in the field of recreation and fitness, Amber has worked in a variety of settings including but not limited to: inclusive recreation & fitness, outdoor recreation, facility management and program coordination. “I strongly believe in the benefits of recreation and fitness to achieve overall quality of life. My goal is to assist others to reach their full potential and achieve their health and wellness goals. I am so excited to join this talented YMCA team and to put my passion and experience to work for our unique and amazing community!”
Senior Program Director: Wellness and Facilities - John Gust
John Gust has worked for the Prescott YMCA in various capacities for many years. In addition to his current role as Maintenance and Facilities Director, John is a personal trainer. He is currently working on a master’s degree in holistic theology and hopes to use this education as a life coach and counselor. He also would like to facilitate a men’s support group on communication skills and relationship issues.
Sports Director - Ryan Harlow
Originally from Virginia, Ryan has lived in Prescott since 2006. Ryan graduated from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in 2012 with a Bachelor's Degree of Science in Parks & Recreation Management. Ryan's passion for sports and youth development should serve him well as he begins his new career here at the Prescott YMCA. He believes in all that the YMCA does and stands for, and looks forward to being part of a team that helps strengthen the community and those that live in it. Ryan enjoys playing basketball, football, baseball, & soccer (really any sport) and if you can't find him on a ball field or court he's probably off hiking or camping.