Sharon Greenberger Fights for New York as YMCA President, CEO

As president and CEO of the New York YMCA, Sharon Greenberger is constantly working to make New York a healthier, happier community. Now she uses her decades of experience to transform The Y into a place of hope amid COVID-19.

Sharon Greenberger, In The Arena


 Subscribe to "In The Arena" on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts or Stitcher

The New York YMCA has been focusing on the trifecta of mind, body and spirit for nearly 170 years, and Sharon Greenberger aims to further that focus despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. With a background in urban planning and experience in economic development, education, health care and government, Greenberger is guided by the notion of community. Serving as the New York YMCA president and CEO is no different.



“We're very focused on empowering you to improving health and strengthening community,” Greenberger explains. “I think that we try to help New Yorkers find two things that everyone needs: a sense of belonging and a sense of achievement. People think of the Y as their second home.”

This strong sense of connection is something that drove Greenberger and her staff to create new methods of community in a socially distanced way after COVID-19 forced them to stop their normal operations on March 16. Since then, the Y has completely transformed itself. Now, the YMCA is providing housing for homeless, offering to house non-COVID patients to free up bed space for COVID patients in local hospitals, providing child care for health-care workers, creating online platforms with fitness classes as resources to its members and establishing a call network to connect with isolated seniors.

All this change and resilience reflects Greenberger’s own strength, fortitude and experiences. When she was battling cancer, she realized the importance of using the life force of others to succeed and survive. When she was running the New York City School Construction Authority she helped to design and build 100 new school buildings across the city and complete 2,000 construction projects within four years. When she joined the Bloomberg administration just after 9/11, she saw the fortitude of New Yorkers and their unwavering ability to support one another. Greenberger knows it is this resiliency that propels New York through this unprecedented crisis.

"I know we will get to the other side and it will require an enormous amount of resilience and strength, but I would just say, especially in New York, we are tough,” Greenberg says. “We've been to the other side many times before and we will get there now, just please stay strong.”

Listen to the full episode to hear more from Sharon Greenberger about focusing on continuous improvement, her passion for water skiing and her self-guiding rules of participation.

Previous Guests:

Governing is a division of e.Republic

President of e.Republic and host of "In the Arena"
Special Projects
Sponsored Stories
Sponsored
GHD identified four themes critical for municipalities to address to reach net-zero by 2050. Will you be ready?
Sponsored
As more state and local jurisdictions have placed a priority on creating sustainable and resilient communities, many have set strong targets to reduce the energy use and greenhouse gases (GHGs) associated with commercial and residential buildings.
Sponsored
As more people get vaccinated and states begin to roll back some of the restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic — schools, agencies and workplaces are working on a plan on how to safely return to normal.
Sponsored
The solutions will be a permanent part of government even after the pandemic is over.
Sponsored
See simple ways agencies can improve the citizen engagement experience and make online work environments safer without busting the budget.
Sponsored
Whether your agency is already a well-oiled DevOps machine, or whether you’re just in the beginning stages of adopting a new software development methodology, one thing is certain: The security of your product is a top-of-mind concern.
Sponsored
The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2022, over half of the workforce will require significant reskilling or upskilling to do their jobs—and this data was published prior to the pandemic.
Sponsored
Part math problem and part unrealized social impact, recycling is at a tipping point. While there are critical system improvements to be made, in the end, success depends on millions of small decisions and actions by people.
Sponsored
Government legal professionals are finding Lexis+ Litigation Analytics from LexisNexis valuable for understanding a judge’s behavior and courtroom trends, knowing other attorneys’ track records, and ensuring success in civil litigation cases.