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Thursday, October 2, 2014

New director hopes to foster community spirit at The Y

By Maya Rajamani
Posted
Deann Forman

Deann Forman has fond memories of visiting The Riverdale Y on Sunday mornings with her husband and children for the two years she and her family lived in Riverdale, taking turns to work out while her kids watched movies and cartoons — part of The Y’s film series for kids. 

This September, Ms. Forman will return to The Y as its chief executive officer. She will succeed Marti Michael, who retired in the spring after 18 years at The Y, four of them as director. 

“I’m very excited to be coming on board,” said Ms. Forman, who is currently wrapping up her work as the chief operating officer at the Kaplen Jewish Community Center on the Palisades in Tenafly, New Jersey, where she has worked since 2011. 

A graduate of Columbia University, where she received her MBA, and Brandeis University, where she majored in psychology, Ms. Forman has worked in the nonprofit world for over 15 years. 

She began her career working with adults with developmental disabilities. But as time went on, she realized the importance of having both a social science and business background. 

“I really wanted to master both skills and use that to run social service agencies in a more efficient manner,” she said. 

While Ms. Forman said The Y has struggled financially over the past few years, she hopes to place it on a secure footing, expanding programs and making it the central gathering point for the Jewish community in Riverdale. 

She pointed to The Y’s annual run,  as well as its Sunday Farmer’s Market, as the kind of community-wide events she hopes to expand upon when September rolls around. 

“Everyone involved with The Riverdale Y is excited that Deann will be our CEO,” said Bradd Gold, The Y’s board president. 

The future director will also focus her efforts on The Y’s early childhood center, exploring professional development for teachers, the latest trends in early education and the creation of new camp programs. 

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