Senior Leadership Team
President & CEO
Since 1998, Eric has served in senior leadership capacities at YMCAs across the country, including in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Idaho, Connecticut and Missouri. Eric has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management & Leadership from Springfield College (Massachusetts) and a Bachelor’s Degree in History Education from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is an Air Force veteran and member of Rotary International, Shriners and Lions Club. Eric is also a YMCA of the USA faculty member and trainer in Leading and Coaching Others. Eric is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys international travel, hiking, biking and skiing with his wife Erin and their two daughters.
Chief Operations Officer
Originally from Southern California, Chris joined our team in April of 2015. He comes to our YMCA with over 18 years of experience in the area of health, fitness and recreation operations. Chris' service to the YMCA includes working for YMCAs in California and Minnesota. He has served in a variety of roles during his YMCA career including Association Health and Wellness Director and Executive Director. Chris earned a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education & Recreation from Whittier College (Whittier, CA) and a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology from St. Scholastica (Duluth, MN). When away from work, Chris likes to spend time at his church, watching his favorite hockey team (Los Angeles Kings) or doing activities with his wife and five children.
Human Resources Director
Sandy has been with the YMCA since 2015 as the Human Resources Director. Over her career, she has enjoyed several leadership roles within HR, most recently at the University of Minnesota. Sandy is married to Mick and they have two daughters, each of whom has recently moved to the Sioux Falls Community. In her spare time, Sandy likes to walk, ride her bike, sit on the beach and enjoy live cinema.
Mark Sherman joined our team after spending three years working in public accounting as an audit associate for Eide Bailly in Aberdeen, SD. Mark obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Accounting from Northern State University in 2013. Mark grew up in Goodwin, SD and enjoys all sports especially baseball, football and wrestling. In his spare time he enjoys traveling with his wife Katie and watching his favorite teams the New York Yankees and Indianapolis Colts.
Downtown YMCA Leadership
Regional Director of Healthy Living
A native of South Dakota, Melissa joined the YMCA as the Regional Director for Healthy Living in April 2016. Her perspective on health and creative spirit have led to a life-long pursuit inspiring people to reach their full potential through passionate and mindful living. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Health Arts and Sciences with an emphasis on Holistic Health from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. She is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach. During the past five years, she has worked primarily in Wellness Education for the Sanford Health Plan and has served as a Community Outreach Organizer and Wellness Workshop Coordinator. Melissa completed her 200 hours Registered Yoga Teacher training and certification in Prana Flow Yoga with Shiva Rea and has also studied with Janet Stone. She is a Certified Nia Instructor. She is an active yoga and fitness class instructor in the Sioux Falls community. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her son, friends and family, running, practicing and teaching yoga, and being active outdoors.
YMCA Camp Leif Ericson Leadership
Mike has been involved with camp since 1997 and has served as Director since 2013. Mike was born and raised in Sioux Falls and attended South Dakota State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. He is also a registered EMT-B and ACCT Level II Challenge Course Facilitator. As a former camper, Mike loves to share the YMCA Camp experience with others. When he is not at camp, Mike enjoys spending time with his wife and son, running, and volunteering in the community.
School & Childcare Leadership
Child Development Center Director
Sarah has several years of YMCA experience working directly with children of all ages, particularly six weeks through five years old. Working with and teaching children is truly her passion. Sarah holds two Bachelor's Degrees, one in Early Childhood and the other in Elementary Education, each from the University of Northern Iowa. Sarah and her husband, Jeff, reside in Sioux Falls with their three children.
YPC Y-Club Program Leader
Gordon oversees the Youth Performance Center Y-Club After School Program. Gordon graduated from the University of Sioux Falls in 2012 with a double major in Secondary Education and History and has several years of teaching experience. Gordon is married to Ellen who is the Sioux Falls Family Youth & Family Coordinator. Together, they have two children Ember and Moses. Outside of work, Gordon is passionate about youth development in extreme sports and being outdoors. Above all he desires to honor God in all he does and lead his family to be servant leaders to all.
Sports & Y-Club Leadership
Youth Development Director
Sarah has been with the Sioux Falls Family YMCA since July 2013, previously serving with the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. After receiving her degree in elementary education, Sarah served several churches as a Director of Christian Education overseeing and developing children's, youth, and adult programming in Iowa, Kansas and Michigan. She has a passion for youth and helping them to grow mentally, physically and spiritually. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys spending time outdoors camping, hiking and biking with her husband, Chris, and four-legged baby, Grace Rose.
Youth & Family Coordinator
Ellen oversees several youth programs, including Kid Zone and Parent's Time Out. She also assists in the facilitation of the Y-Club Program. Ellen attended the University of Sioux Falls and has a degree in Social Work. She has now settled in Sioux Falls with her husband, Gordon, and their two children, Ember and Moses. Outside of work, Ellen is involved in youth and women’s ministry and advocates for different areas of tribal policy.
Association Support Team
Controller & HR Support
Janell initially joined the Sioux Falls YMCA as a member. In October of 1984, she began working full-time in the accounting office as the assistant to the Business Manager. In 1999, Janell was promoted to the Business Manager where she and her hard-working staff ensure that the financial integrity of the YMCA is maintained. Her favorite part about working at the Y is being able to witness the positive impact that the programs have on the adults and children being served. In her spare time Janell enjoys camping and spending time with friends and family.