COMMUNITY YMCA EXEC RESIGNS

lisa-christianLisa Christian at the Red bank Y in March. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Lisa Christian, a YMCA lifer who steered the Community YMCA to settlements of two major lawsuits and oversaw a lightning-fast interior remodeling of the Red Bank health facility, has resigned, redbankgreen has learned.

The Y confirmed that Christian had quit, but was mum on why, except to say that she left “to pursue other opportunities.”

A source tells us that Christian’s departure “wasn’t her choice.”

Richard Ayres, the nonprofit’s chief financial officer, is serving as interim president and CEO while the board of trustees conducts a national search for a new CEO, the Y said in a prepared statement.

Christian’s tenure at the Y’s Middletown head office was short. She arrived in mid-2010, succeeding Gary Laermer, who headed the CYMCA for four years and left for the YMCA of Greater New York.

Christian had spent her entire career with the nonprofit, doing stints at Ys in north Jersey, San Francisco and Pittsburgh, where she was chief operating officer of a Y with 18 branches.

She landed in Red Bank in the midst of two lawsuits the Y had filed against the borough: one over the zoning boardÂ’s rejection of a proposed expansion, and another over the proposed sale of the previously borough-owned building at 51 Monmouth Street.

Christian was credited with quickly finding middle ground for settlements, one of which led to design plan changes for the Maple Avenue health facility that won zoning board approval on a second go-round, and another that cleared the way for the Y to re-sell the former municipal police building to Red Bank Catholic High/St. James School.

That second settlement, however, gave rise to yet another lawsuit, in which two Red Bank property owners are challenging its propriety. The suit, which names both the borough and the Y as defendants, is pending in state Superior Court in Freehold.

Christian, of Atlantic Highlands, could not be reached for comment.