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Kathy Kuras is President and CEO of the YMCA of Austin, the first woman to hold this position in the organization’s 65+ year history.

Kuras grew up in Dallas, and brings 30 years of Y experience with several large, multi-branch YMCA associations (Dallas, Charlotte and Boston) as well as the YMCA of the USA, the organization’s national resource center, where she pioneered an enterprise-wide leadership development effort and helped revitalize the organization’s culture.

Prior to leading the Austin Y, Kuras led not only operations for the YMCA of Greater Boston but also marketing and communications, human resource operations, and information technology. Pre-pandemic, she held overall responsibility for an $80 million annual budget, operations of 13 branches, 3 overnight camps and over 60 program locations with 2,500 employees, 2,000 volunteers and 40,000 membership units, serving 180,000 people annually in 55 urban and suburban communities.

During her time in Boston at the nation’s oldest local YMCA, Kuras implemented Meaningful Membership, an initiative to weave philanthropy into the Y member experience and new family centered initiatives, resulting in growth and improved retention of family members. In the wake of the Covid pandemic, she led creation of YMCA GO (www.ymcago.org), a comprehensive virtual platform for health and fitness.

At the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, she developed and launched an innovation strategy based on human-centered design, which created over a dozen new programs and experiences in the areas of membership, youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

At the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, she co-founded the Know Before You Go (now Safety Around Water) drowning prevention program, collaborating initially with Children’s Medical Center, National Safe Kids Coalition and American Red Cross. This program has evolved into a vibrant community safety program reaching 70,000 youth and families in over 140 communities annually and inspired the national program.

Kuras is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and holds an undergraduate degree in music from Loyola University of New Orleans and a Masters of Organizational Management & Leadership from Springfield College in Massachusetts. As a side project, she has also directed the football documentary film Open Field, which made its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival in 2020.