Staff Spotlight: Building Leaders

Hal Welsh East Area Family YMCa

Meet the staff and team members of the Hal Welsh East Area Family YMCA.


Darnell Hayes

Darnell Hayes
Eastern District Vice President

I serve as the Eastern District Vice President for the Hal Welsh East Area Family YMCA & the Manlius branch. I moved to Syracuse in October of 2018, but have been a member of the Y for more than 20 years. The Y has always been an integral part of my and my family's life. In every community that I have lived in, the YMCA members and staff quickly became a part of my extended family. We have so many nice amenities, but they are useless without the love and connection that we have as a community. I learned this early in my time with the Y and have made it a mission to do what I can to help everyone see all that the Y is and has to offer for all.

I CANNOT WAIT until we are able to reopen and welcome our members, staff, and community back into the buildings. For me, not being able to see all of the friends and families has made this a challenging time. I miss seeing people in our buildings, watching the kids in Prime Time smile and play, hearing the amazing stories that are shared each day - these things fill my bucket on a daily basis and I know I speak for our entire team when I say we miss it!

Please reach out to me for anything. I am loving the conversations that I have gotten to have with members and volunteers lately. I would love to jump on a call with anyone simply to check in. Now is a great time to talk with minimal interruptions about opportunities related to service and bringing community together for the greater good.

These are uncertain times, but we will persevere through the challenge, TOGETHER. We've got this!

Email Darnell


Kelly Butters

Kelly Butters
Associate Executive Director

I started with the Y when I was just 17 years old as a camp counselor and after-school childcare site assistant. What I originally thought of as just a fun, part-time job has turned into a passion-filled career that has allowed me to meet thousands of wonderful people and feel like every day has a new purpose.

Throughout my career I have had a strong focus on youth and staff development- opening multiple childcare centers, teen centers, summer camp programs, and inclusion programs. In my current role as Associate Executive Director, I've also added Health & Wellness, Sports, and Aquatics to my scope.

I've been blessed to find a career path at the Y and know that it has given me so much more than just a job after all of these years. It has given me lifelong professional development, the courage to lead through my values, and a true sense of leadership. I am looking forward to the next 20 years of friendships, successes, and community service.

Please reach out to me with your own Y story and ideas on how the Y can better serve the community.

Email Kelly