A familiar face will return to East Boston to lead the East Boston YMCA next month. Joe Gaeta, who served as the East Boston Y’s Director of Teen Programs for several years before leaving to become Director of Operations for the Huntington Avenue YMCA, was named this week as the new East Boston Y’s Executive Director.
Gaeta, a lifelong Eastie resident, will replace Ann Margaret Gutierrez, who led the East Boston Y since 2015.
“Working with the YMCA of Greater Boston has always been a rewarding experience for me,” said Gaeta, who will take the reins in Eastie on March 4. “Making sure community needs are met no matter what the circumstance is part of the core of our mission. Being able to serve the community of East Boston has always been a passion of mine. Coming home and leading this extraordinary organization and team has always been a dream. I look forward to continuing the longstanding tradition of serving the community of East Boston as its next Executive Director.”
Gaeta is a 13-year YMCA veteran with a decade of service at the East Boston Y under his belt. Gaeta started as a part-time camp counselor during which he created and implemented education curriculum for youth, ages 5 through 13.
In 2010 he advanced within his career to the association-wide Director of Teen Programs for which he supervised the teen fitness center and family programming and assisted in fundraising efforts for youth scholarships to camp.
In his most recent position, Director of Operations for the Huntington Avenue YMCA, he oversees 5,000 members and an operating budget of $7 million while managing 11 full-time and 100 part-time staff members.
“The YMCA of Greater Boston prides itself on attracting top talent to guide the organization in youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility,” says YMCA of Greater Boston President and CEO James Morton. “We are thrilled to promote Joe from within and we are excited to see where Joe takes the East Boston Y and the positive impact he will have on individuals and families in the area.”
During his tenure, Gaeta has been responsible for Membership, Aquatics, Healthy Living and Youth Development/Teen programs. He created the East Boston YMCA Credit Recovery Program, in partnership with Boston Public Schools and East Boston High School, which gives students a second chance to make up work and lost credits at their own pace out of school to ensure they graduate on time. He also implemented extended teen times where the building was open for just teens, after hours, free of charge.
Gaeta said public service has been a long-standing tradition in his Eastie family. Following in his grandparents 30 years of advocacy work he is the Treasurer of the East Boston Girls Softball League and a longtime supporter and former Board Member for East Boston Main Streets. With a passion for creating opportunities for others, he holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Secondary Education from the University of Massachusetts.
East Boston Y members, friends and supporters are encouraged to meet Gaeta during the East Boston YMCA’s Annual Reach Out Breakfast, which is set for Thursday, April 25 at 7 a.m. at the Hilton Boston Logan Airport.
To purchase tickets visit www.ymcaboston.org/eastboston/breakfast.