From YMCA executives to volunteer leadership, everyone here is passionate about making the Gateway Region a better, healthier place.  At the Y, we are working together to making lasting personal and social change in our community. Meet our leadership team below. If you’re interested in being part of our cause and making an impact in our community, check out our job opportunities here.

Tim Helm, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Gateway Region YMCA

Tim Helm, President and Chief Executive Officer

Tim Helm currently serves as the 12th President and Chief Executive Officer of the Gateway Region YMCA, one of the region’s leading nonprofits serving more than a quarter-million individuals annually through programs and services that nurture the potential of children and teens, promote health and well-being, and encourage positive social change.

Tim came to the Gateway Region YMCA in 2014, and in his first year, led the successful merger of the YMCA of Greater St. Louis and the YMCA of Southwest Illinois to become the Gateway Region YMCA. Tim also launched the Association’s long-term strategic planning process that guides organizational excellence, cultural improvement, and social responsibility to most effectively respond to growing community needs and position the Y for continued growth in the region. Prior to the COVID Pandemic, Tim grew the Association from just over 38,000 membership units with an annual budget of $52 million, to its most successful year ever with more than 55,000 membership units and a $75 million budget.

When COVID began in 2020, Tim led the Association to rethink and re-invent operations to ensure it continued to deliver on its mission. Even with its doors closed, the Y remained open to meet the community's needs by providing emergency childcare for families of essential care employees, introducing the Y Enrichment Program for virtual learners, reaching out to seniors to combat social isolation, and running food drives to address food disparities.

Tim currently is successfully leading the Gateway Region Y through a five-year comprehensive “Opportunity for All” capital campaign, launched in 2018. With more than $50 million raised on a goal of $55 million, the campaign is focused on three primary strategies – bridging the opportunity gap, connecting communities and cultivating health equity in order to help those most in need.

Prior to joining the Gateway Region Y, Tim served as the President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Dayton. During his tenure there, the Dayton Y grew from a $4.7 million annual budget with four branches and 2,100 membership units to a $25 million budget with 11 branches and approximately 20,000 membership units.

Before 2002, Tim held several other positions with the Dayton Y, including Branch Executive, Vice President of Operations and Senior Vice President. Before joining the Dayton Y in 1996, Tim served a variety of roles for the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati from 1989-1996. Tim has also assumed leadership positions on a number of national committees, including as the Chair of the YMCA Mid-Majors Group and as the Vice Chair for the National Board of Directors for the Association of YMCA Professionals. Tim currently serves on the YMCA Employee Benefits Committee, is the Chair of the YMCA Champions for Child Protection and is the Chair for the Missouri State Alliance of YMCAs.

Tim is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Tim is married to Heather May, and between the two of them, they have seven children.
Jared Beard, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of the Gateway Region YMCA

Jared Beard, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer

Jared Beard is the Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Gateway Region YMCA. In this role, Jared provides executive leadership for all of the Y's operating units and program areas, including health & well-being, camp, before and after school enrichment, and early childhood development.

Previously, Jared led the YMCA of Southwest Illinois as the interim President and CEO through a 2015 merger with the YMCA of Greater St Louis. In that role, he worked directly with volunteers and staff on the final phase of a strategic alliance to form the Gateway Region YMCA. The combined association now serves 13 counties, provides $6.3 million in financial assistance, relies on 7,000 volunteers and serves nearly 300,000 individuals through 24 branches across diverse communities in Missouri and Illinois.

Over the last ten years as the EVP and COO, Jared has built the reputation of the Y into one known for service and community throughout the region. Through strategic planning and execution, the organization has embraced a more inclusive and diverse culture. During the COVID-pandemic, the Y led vital programs to help communities recover and when met with social challenges, all levels of staff pulled together to deliver the Y’s mission.

As an advocate for lifelong learning, Jared holds a PhD in Nonprofit Management, a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management, a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science/Sports Management and a Certificate in Fund Raising Management. He is also a Certified Fund-Raising Executive through CFRE International.

He and his wife Rachael, who is a researcher for the VA Health Care System, live in the Metro East with their son, Cole.

Leadership Staff

Judy Abrams - Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Wendy Cornett-Marquitz, CFRE - Senior Vice President of Philanthropy & Chief Development Officer

Deborah Tallo - Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Cathie Degler - Vice President, Human Resources

Dan Schulze - Vice President, Business Administration

Keelyn Krill - Vice President, Membership & Healthy Living

Steve Mastorakos - Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Laurie McTearnen - Vice President, Child Care & Inclusion Services

Melissa Lickert - Vice President, Accounting and Controller

Ty Wagner - Vice President, Property Management


Matt Clark - District Vice President, South District

Tricia Meinhold - District Vice President, West District

Matt Thompson - District Vice President, City District

Ken Strawbridge - District Vice President, East District