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Heat, humidity, and heavy traffic. That’s all Stephen Ives had heard about our city before he moved here in November 2018 to take over as President/CEO of the YMCA of Greater Houston. “Well, it is hot,” laughs Stephen. “But I actually enjoy it. And the traffic isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”

Stephen grew up in Maine, so he especially enjoys Houston’s mild winters. After a little more than a year here, he has fallen in love with the Bayou City. “If I wrote a book about my move here, it would be called I had no idea,” he says. “I had no idea how enjoyable it would be. I had no idea about the philanthropy and fundraising capacity here. I had no idea how much green space there would be.”

Another surprise – Houston’s restaurant scene. “The food! Oh my, I haven’t found a bad restaurant yet. It’s a great food town. Within a year, I’ve become a Houston brand advocate. I talk about how cool it is here.”

Stephen previously served as President/CEO of the YMCA in Central Ohio. Before then, he was CEO of YMCAs in Massachusetts and Maine. He says he’s pleasantly surprised by how friendly everyone is here in Texas, including business and government leaders. “For a big city like this to have opportunities to meet and visit with influential people, that’s not typical. It’s great. And our supporters have welcomed and encouraged me.”

Stephen is also excited to serve on the KSBJ President’s Council. He enjoyed attending a meeting of the group last November, speaking into KSBJ’s ministry and advising President/CEO Joe Paulo about issues and opportunities in our city. “I’m new to it, but so far I was really pleased. And the discussion and dialogue have opened my mind to how media and radio can be very impactful and influential on some of the most important social issues.”

Stephen is enthusiastic about the partnership between the YMCA and KSBJ and passionate about the opportunity to work together to serve the community. His favorite scripture, Luke 12:48 reflects that. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required.”

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