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Southwest Orange Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020 2 months ago

Dr. Phillips Y names new executive director

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Chris Demetriou is making the move to the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA Family Center after serving the same role at the Roper YMCA for the past few years.
by: Troy Herring Sports Editor

A new face in a similar place: That’s the situation new Dr. P. Phillips YMCA Family Center Executive Director Chris Demetriou is in these days.

Since 2016, Demetriou has called the Roper YMCA — where he served as the center’s executive director — in Winter Garden his home away from home. Now, he has made the move to the county’s largest YMCA center in Dr. Phillips.

“We had some transition at the beginning of the year with the Dr. Phillips Y, and at the beginning of this month as we looked for getting that consistency in the transition, the opportunity popped up,” Demetriou said. “It was exciting for me, because I love the West Orange community — the Roper Y has been my family, but to be able to continue to support the West Orange community and support our largest Y is a great opportunity for me.”

As executive director, Demetriou oversees the day-to-day operations and works closely with community partners. He also serves as the executive leadership for the Y’s youth sports.

Since his start Saturday, Aug. 1, Demetriou has enjoyed a successful transition to Dr. Phillips.

“It was exciting for me, because I love the West Orange community — the Roper Y has been my family, but to be able to continue to support the West Orange community and support our largest Y is a great opportunity for me.”

— Chris Demetriou

“I did have the unique advantage because of how close the Roper Y is to Dr. Phillips,” Demetriou said. “There is a lot of overlap between membership base, there was a lot of overlap from center to center, so the learning curve at the Y was pretty quick, because I had a slight jump start based off of already being in the West Orange community.”

The move is the latest in a career with the YMCA that dates back to 2009, when Demetriou started part-time at a Y just outside of Philadelphia. There, he taught an adaptive sports class while working toward his master’s degree. He fell in love with being able to help kids.

Demetriou rose through the ranks at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine before moving to Florida toward the end of 2016 to take on the role of associate executive director at Roper.

Unlike his starts at the other Ys, however, the daily operations at the Dr. Phillips Y have been a little different.

“It has been day-by-day, and I think a lot of that has to do with the recovery and sustainability from coming back from a pandemic, because that adds a completely different element to a new role and a new position,” Demetriou said. “But day-to-day is very high volume, lots of conversations, lots of observations and lots of getting to know the community and members. Building relationships is one of my favorite things about my job — getting the opportunity to know and learn from your members is pretty cool.”

This summer, the Y hosted a successful summer camp. Currently, leaders are optimistic sports will be coming back sometime after Labor Day.

Demetriou is looking forward to helping grow the Dr. Phillips Y.

“I don’t have any specifics yet, but we have a great opportunity to continue to grow and impact the Dr. Phillips community,” he said. “I think that the recovery from a pandemic — getting our members comfortable in returning again — and building the relationships with those who support us as a nonprofit organization, that’s some of the high-level focus right now. As we continue to build that foundation … you’ll definitely see some cool stuff coming from the Dr. Phillips Y.”

Troy Herring is the sports editor at the West Orange Times and Windermere Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Mount Olive (BS '12) and the University of Alabama (MA '16)....

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