Staff Spotlight: Membership & Programs

Hal Welsh East Area Family YMCa

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



Allie Clarke

Allie Clarke
Membership & Marketing Director

I started working for the YMCA in high school, and a simple part-time role working with teens has led me to a career of loving the YMCA & our members. These past few weeks with the building closed have been hard. We miss seeing our lobby filled with friends, our staff at the desk, and our community together, but we will get through this. I'm so thankful to have our YMCA community during this time, and I can't wait to be together again in person. Do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions about what the YMCA does, how we help the community, or resources that we can offer during this time.

Email Allie


Lindsey Williams

Lindsey Williams
Family Director

My journey with the YMCA has been quite remarkable. I discovered my beautiful journey in one of the most vulnerable times of my life; as a wife to a husband in the service, I found myself hopeless, alone and afraid in new territory, with no friends or family around as he went away to serve his duty! During one of his deployments about 8 or 9 years ago, the YMCA found me and saved me. Instantly, I fell in love with the mission, my journey, and the role I was playing in a community I loved so much.

Before children and my career with the YMCA, I was young and happy to devote all the extra time. Little did I know, the Y was preparing me for a future to love myself, believe in my abilities, and inspire other minds in more ways than I ever could have imagined. Through my many capes as a sub float, site assistant, preschool teacher, School-Age Director, and now Family Prime Time Director, I have seen the YMCA in so many beautiful forms all over, starting with Connecticut, Texas, Hawaii, and now Central New York!

The picture above has so much meaning, it was taken almost a decade ago, and still it feels brand new. On this day, my husband came back from his deployment, and amidst the tears and feelings of loneliness, his life journey collided with mine leading me to one of the most meaningful experiences in my life.

Even in this time, one of the most vulnerable times in the YMCA, I find so much glory in the community around us, my leaders of the YMCA holding up strong in the midst of what some might feel like chaos. I want to thank them and all those that have helped mold me for a version of myself I did not know existed. In this, the YMCA has allowed me to grow enough strength to lead others with love, courage, and empathy!

During this time, may anyone be in need of conversation, a friendly smile, or just a hello, please reach out- we are human even though we must practice social distancing. The strength of community connection is needed now more than ever. I appreciate you, the YMCA loves you, and we most certainly miss our community! A big THANK YOU to the YMCA for believing in me and allowing me to share memories with some of the best people I have ever encountered!

Email Lindsey


Noelle Downey

Noelle Downey
Teen Coordinator

I started working with the YMCA in 2011 and I have worked in the Teen Department ever since. I lead our Tween Club, after school program, and our teen initiatives, like Youth & Government, YPals, Summer programs, Jr. Leaders, and Leaders Club. Members can reach me through email anytime to learn all about our teen programs.

Email Noelle


James Burgess

James Burgess
Sports Director

Hi Y friends, I joined our YMCA as a member in 2004 and then the staff team in 2008. Members and friends can reach out to me regarding sports programs, leagues, camps, ideas for keeping kiddos busy, and anything else they want to ask or talk about!

Need something to do? Try the DIY Putt-Putt Golf Challenge using items around the house as the putter, hole, and obstacles. I'm very excited to see all our members and communities when we're back!

Email James


Brittany Zacharias

Brittany Zacharias
Aquatics Director

I joined the YMCA in October of 2009 in Charlotte, NC. When I relocated here in NY, I took a position with our Northwest Family YMCA when they opened in June of 2015, and then joined this team last August. Please reach out to me in regard to anything swimming related, whether it be a question about programming, what your child can work on from home, or just to say "hi". I will also field all questions and inquiries about our training programs (Lifeguarding, CPR, and First Aid). I hope you all are holding up and staying safe. We are in this together, and we hope to see you back at the Y very soon.

Email Brittany


Evelyn White

Evelyn White
Swim Lesson Coordinator

I joined the YMCA 10 and a half years ago! I love the Aquatics Department and working with all of our swim lesson families.  At this time, if you have any questions at all regarding swim lessons, you can email me. I hope everyone is well and keeping laughter alive during this time! We miss you so much!

Email Evelyn


Renee Storiale

Renée Storiale
Director of Studio Programs

I have been with the Y since July 2016! Members can reach out to me about keeping their creative juices flowing while they are stuck at home. Keep an eye out for our Family Art Friday videos. We can't wait to see you all again in the art studio!

Email Renée


Sue Ji Yong

Sue Ji Yong
Arts Studio Coordinator

I joined the Y in January 2018. Members can reach out to me about anything clay, gardening, and DIY projects. My passion is learning and sharing about ceramics and other handmade work. Members can also ask about the youth and adult art classes we offer at the Arts Studio at the Hal Welsh East Area Family YMCA. Members can especially reach out if they need an at-home project idea! I'm crafty with paper, clay, knot work, origami, weaving, and wood projects too! Be well and craft away. Cannot wait to share our handmade projects when we meet again.

Email Sue Ji


Laura Mangano-Smith

Laura Mangano-Smith
Inclusion Coordinator

I am the Inclusion Coordinator at the East Y. I have been a member of the Y since September 2017, a few months after moving to Syracuse. I was a foreigner, I'd just had a baby, and I was looking for activities for me and my family to do. What I didn't know is that I had just found a second home! It only took me a few weeks to realize what a great place the Y was, so I decided to apply for a part-time job as an Inclusion Support Staff. It was all very new to me, but I loved every minute of it! Getting to work with those amazing kids and developing relationship with their families, made me feel part of something bigger. During the summer of 2019, I was offered the interim position of Inclusion Coordinator, which I immediately accepted, and that became permanent in the fall. I am honored and grateful for having the chance to serve my community by providing support and creating an inclusive environment for All.

I am looking forward to the day we will be able to reopen our doors. I know how much the Y means to all of you, all of us, and I have been truly missing seeing all of you walk through our doors every day. Please reach out to me if you want to know more about our program, how to apply for it, if you need information on how to receive support during our Summer Camps, or for any questions at all! I will also be happy to connect you with additional resources in the community that can provide emotional and psychological support during this challenging time.

I hope you are all staying strong, healthy, and happy! We will make it through this, together.

Email Laura


Mary Beth Anderson

Mary Beth Anderson
Health & Wellness Director

I have been a team member of our organization for 8 and a half years. I am the Health & Wellness Director at the Hal Welsh East Area Family Y. Our community has a sense of belonging that can't be found in other organizations. How often do you find a community that will help one another in a time of need? That supports one another during serious illness with food, cards, phone calls, and love? That will go out of their way to check on a friend that has been missing in class for a week or two? Well, that is what we have at our Y. I watch friendships grow and observe our community getting stronger each and every day. I work at the Y for those relationships. I love the Health & Wellness team, my peers, and my leaders. I love to have fun and live life to its fullest. I feel very blessed to be part of the Y community. When I think about our association, I think about relationships and a strong community. I see people lift one another up, support and care for one another, help one another in times of need, and make our community a better place. I can't begin to tell you what that means to me as a staff member, friend, and individual. It makes me proud to work at a place that fosters this type of environment. I want everyone in our Y community to know that I am here for you. Although we cannot be together in person, we can connect through email, phone, Zoom, etc. Just reach out to me and we can connect. We are here to support your body, mind, and spirit. Stay strong, stay well, and God Bless.

Email Mary Beth


Matti Bedell

Matti Bedell
Member Wellness Coordinator

I've been with the Y since September of 2019.

If you'd like to reach me for any questions on our healthy living programs, please email me. Thank you for supporting the Y and I look forward to seeing you all again soon, but for now, stay active, stay positive, and God Bless!

Email Matti


Patty Ryan

Patty Ryan
Group Exercise Coordinator

I absolutely love group exercise. Group exercise classes provide an opportunity for people to gain physical AND mental health. While you exercise your body, you grow relationships with those around you, which helps you stay motivated and consistent!

I joined the YMCA over 25 years ago, when I left my full-time job to stay home with my first of four children. I understand the challenges our members face as they try to balance taking care of themselves as they take care of their families. I have taught many class formats over the years, and for the past 3+ years I have worked as the Group Exercise Coordinator. I oversee the group exercise schedules: water fitness, cycle, and both group ex schedules (East and Manlius).

My goal during this difficult time is to keep our members active! My colleagues and I are are working hard to develop virtual wellness materials. I am also available to help you create a fitness regimen to keep you moving while we are away from our Y. Please feel free to contact me. We are all in this together!

Email Patty