YMCA of Greater Toronto names Lesley Davidson new President and CEO

21 March 2023

YMCA of Greater Toronto names Lesley Davidson new President & CEO

Lesley Davidson becomes first woman to lead the 170-year-old charity

Toronto – March 21, 2023 – Today, YMCA of Greater Toronto Board Chair, John MacIntyre, is pleased to announce Lesley Davidson as the new President & CEO, effective July 8, 2023. She will also be assuming the role of President, YMCA Ontario.

Lesley is an innovative, committed and collaborative leader who has dedicated the entirety of her career to the YMCA. Over the years, she has held increasingly senior roles, including Senior Vice President of Health & Fitness, Chief Operating Officer and now President & CEO. She will be the first woman to hold this position in the charity’s 170-year history.

Throughout her career, Lesley has guided the organization’s strategic planning process, overseen multiple capital projects, run annual giving campaigns, and advanced the YMCA’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. Most recently, Lesley created and co-managed “Y Steps Up”, the charity’s far-reaching initiative to address employee and community challenges brought on by the pandemic.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am delighted to announce Lesley Davidson as the new President & CEO,” says John MacIntyre, Board Chair, YMCA of Greater Toronto. “Lesley’s vast experience, extensive understanding of the organization and deep commitment to the well-being of staff, volunteers and our communities will ensure that the YMCA can continue to deliver essential programs that allow people of all ages and from all walks of life reach their potential. I have full confidence in her ability to spark positive change and build on the tremendous legacy of current President & CEO, Medhat Mahdy.”

“I’m honoured and excited to begin this new chapter as President & CEO,” says Lesley Davidson. “From the moment I stepped foot in the Y many years ago, I knew something special was happening around me – and I had to be a part of it. This is a truly incredible charity, fuelled by a remarkable team of dedicated staff, volunteers and donors. Together, we empower people with essential programs, give them opportunities to better their lives, and provide a sense of belonging. I still feel as optimistic about the Y and the work ahead as I did on my very first day. I know that together, we will continue to ignite the potential in people and help them grow, lead and give back to their communities.”

The hiring process for the YMCA’s new President & CEO was managed by the external executive search firm Caldwell Partners. The comprehensive, open search resulted in a highly qualified, diverse group of finalists.

About the YMCA of Greater Toronto

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity that ignites the potential in people, helping them grow, lead and give back to their communities. For 170 years, the YMCA of Greater Toronto has provided opportunities for people to shine through a variety of programs and services including health and fitness, licensed child care, camps, employment and immigrant services, education and training, and services for youth, families and seniors. Promoting equity and boosting well-being across more than 440 locations in the Greater Toronto Area, the Y is a leading charity that helps everyone shine. For more information visit https://ymcagta.org.