Achievers & Accolades

YMCA Acknowledges Board Leaders, Staff Changes

By Staff Reports, posted May 17, 2022
Russell Herring
The YMCA of Southeastern North Carolina recently announced its new board of directors and staff leadership changes, including the election of Russell Herring as chair.

Herring succeeds Jim Hundley and will serve a two-year term, ending in 2023. John Cockrum was elected vice-chair and Corby Johnson will continue to serve as secretary and treasurer. 

Herring, CEO of AssistedCare at Home and Eldercare at Home, will provide leadership to the YMCA’s Board of Directors, setting strategic direction and policy to support the Y’s work in Southeastern North Carolina. Raised in Wilmington, Herring was appointed to the board in 2014.

Cockrum, president and founder of Environments Unlimited Inc. has served on the YMCA’s Board of Directors since 2016 and was elected as vice-chair for 2022.  In addition to his work with the YMCA, Cockrum has served on the Board of Directors for Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity and helped found the local chapter of Honor Flight of Southeastern NC.

Johnson has served on the YMCA’s Board of Directors since 2013. 

The YMCA also elected new board members; Jennifer Devers with PT by the Sea, Christa Faison with New Hanover County Schools, Fidias Reyes with UNCW and Ford Williams with Live Oak Bank to serve a two-year term. 

In staff news, the local Y named Meghan Merritt as its chief operating officer. Merritt is joined by two new Executive Directors including Jared Barrier, Executive Director of the Sampson County YMCA, and Savanah Standifer, Executive Director of YMCA Camp Kirkwood. 

Merritt, who previously served as the YMCA of Southeastern NC’s Director of Organizational Development, accepted the position as COO earlier this year. She has 12 years of YMCA leadership experience including 5 years as the Executive Director of the Corpening Memorial YMCA. Merritt also serves as a faculty trainer for YMCA of the USA. 

Barrier was hired in December 2021 to help the YMCA open its newest branch in Clinton. He has a background in health and wellness leadership and previously managed the Sampson County Health + Wellness facility when it was operated by Sampson Regional Medical Center. Barrier is a well-respected leader in the Clinton community and looks forward to opening a YMCA this spring to serve the greater Sampson County community.

Standifer comes to the YMCA of Southeastern NC with more than 17 years of experience working with YMCA youth development programs. She has worked at a variety of small to midsize and even large metropolitan YMCAs, giving her a vast experience in understanding the needs of both small and large communities. Standifer has an extensive background in camping, afterschool care, program development, behavioral services and training. 
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