FORMER HOOPS PHENOM TO LEAD YMCA

Rhonda Anderson on the hardwood at the Community YMCA in Red Bank this week, above, and in action as a future Cornell Hall-of-Famer, below. (Above photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By STACIE FANELLI

In 1891, basketball was invented at a YMCA. This August, Rhonda Anderson, who broke 19 scoring and rebounding records in her starring role on the Cornell University women’s team in the early 1980s, will return to her game’s roots when she takes over as president and CEO of the Middletown-based Community YMCA.

It took a while for Anderson to find her niche in basketball. In fact, if her high school basketball coach hadn’t recruited her to try out based on her height, her life might have turned out much differently. She credits the game for many of the traits she says will be vital in her new position.

“To rebound effectively, you have to work to get in the position, and you have to have the desire and the effort, ” Anderson said, “and it’s the same thing in the work environment.”

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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.”

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YMCA AMPING UP THE OUTREACH

lisa-christianThe Y’s new executive director, Lisa Christian, outside her Middletown office. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It was anything but a smooth, low-stress transition for Lisa Christian when she stepped into her role as the Community YMCA‘s president and CEO in June.

“It’s been interesting,” Christian said. “I started the job and went into two litigation discussions (with Red Bank). That’s a very unusual component in a new job.”

Now that those two lawsuits the Y filed against Red Bank — one over the zoning board’s rejection of a proposed expansion, and another over the sale of the previously borough-owned building at 51 Monmouth Street — are poised to end amicably, Christian can focus her efforts where she wants: the community the Y serves.

“I think our donors and our supporters, and even the people who aren’t very close to us, are very happy that The Y is not going to be spending time in court, but doing what we’re supposed to be doing,” Christian said.

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