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Metropolitan YMCAs of Mississippi names first female CEO in history

Jara Miller

The Metropolitan YMCAs of Mississippi named Jara Miller the organization’s permanent leader. This announcement comes after many changes in leadership and structure have taken place for the organization over the last year. During that change, Miller has remained a consistent leader where she has worked to ensure the organizations fiscal health and future security. This appointment makes Miller the first female CEO in the Mississippi organization’s 112 year history.

Speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, Chairman Brad Wilkinson said, “The Board is very excited to continue working with Jara in her new role. Her leadership, dedication and commitment to the YMCA, positions the organization for future growth and success.

Miller says, “I am so grateful to the board of directors for their continued support and faith in me. I look forward to leading this organization that is committed to improving lives of those in our own community. Integrity and quality are my priority. The Y is commiting to building lasting relationships with our program participants, members and the community as a whole. I am dedicated to serving, fostering parternerships and connecting people. Our Y’s are are more than gyms they are a cause that enables others to serve as well.”

Miller has served in many roles during her 14 years with the local YMCA. She has served as an Executive Director, VP of Family and Children Services, Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Miller successfully expanded the organization’s grant-based programs and “Y’s Without Walls” programs from serving 3 communities to currently serving 12 counties throughout the state.

While Miller’s background is based in Economics, she says her focus is “on safety and service over savings”. “We have the opportunity to change the course of the YMCA and to build a better future to continue our legacy for the next 150 years. To do that, we have to listen to the community and build the Y around community needs. If you don’t have the people – all you have are buildings.”


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