Previously having served as regional associate executive director for five years at the Mission Valley YMCA, Marchese was chosen for her new role after an extensive search. She has effectively served as the interim executive director at the PB branch at 4606 Ingraham St. at the corner of Felspar, for the past six months.
“Leane is a tremendous asset to the Y and to our community-at-large,” said Lisa D’Angelo, area vice president for the YMCA of San Diego County.
“The Y’s vision is to expand its presence in San Diego's beach and bay communities by building a state-of-the-art YMCA fitness center in Pacific Beach. With Leane’s leadership and operational experience, we are looking forward to bringing this vision to life.”
Marchese’s hire comes at a propitious time. Two years ago, the Pacific Beach YMCA celebrated the first phase of a shared venture with San Diego Unified School District. It hosted a ribbon-tying to debut its new joint-occupancy turf field surrounded by a track. The new field is striped for multiple sports including soccer, field hockey, and girls and boys lacrosse.
That was followed a year later by the construction of two state-of-the-art padel tennis courts behind the YMCA’s outdoor fitness facility. A community pool is planned in the future.
Marchese sees her new position as a golden opportunity.
“Everybody doesn’t get the opportunity to build a new YMCA, it’s very exciting,” she noted pointing out being on Pacific Beach Middle School’s campus “gives us the ability to do some programming and parenting with them.”
Marchese said the expanding Beach and Bay YMCA is working “on a new after-school program for mainly middle school students, as well as a fitness program to help cancer survivors live longer and healthier lives.”
Discussing the YMCA and its mission, Marchese said, “it’s an inclusive community organization with the goal of improving the quality of life. We are focused on helping people realize their potential.”
The new executive director revealed the results of a recent YMCA user study.
“People are telling us they want more programs for kids,” Marchese said. “There are a growing number of families in PB and they want a place to recreate and have a swimming pool where they can swim and Mission Bay High School’s water polo and swim teams can use, and to teach water safety and water exercise for older adults.”
The Beach and Bay YMCA is in the later stages of fundraising for its brand new building.
“We’re actively in the search for securing a name donor,” Marchese said. “We’re also looking at getting grants. Part of my role is to do outreach to the community.”
The new director said PB residents “are really hungry for their own YMCA.” She added: “It would be great for people to understand we now have both indoor and outdoor fitness facilities, and that we’re in town to support them and that they don’t need to go outside the community for their recreational needs. Come give us a try and support us becoming a part of the community.”