YMCA of the Chesapeake Announces Changes to Leadership Team

YMCA logo

The YMCA of the Chesapeake (YOC) announces changes to its leadership and the addition of a new position, Director of Pickleball. 

Wendy Palmer will transition from her role as the Executive Director at the Easton Family YMCA to serve as the Director of Chronic Disease and Prevention programs. Shania Gregory will return to Easton as the Executive Director for the Easton Family YMCA and the Y @ Washington, and Jon Beasley has been hired as the new Director of Pickleball for the YOC.  

“I’m excited to announce these new roles and to welcome Jon Beasely to our team,” said Jennifer Gill, YMCA of the Chesapeake COO. “Wendy has a rich history of community impact on the Eastern Shore, and has been involved in Chronic Disease Prevention programming for six years. 

Shania Gregory grew up at the Easton Family Y as and has been able to develop strong community relations through her history at the Easton Y as Membership Director, Operations Director and Executive Director at the Pauline F. and W. David Robbins Family YMCA in Cambridge.  And as Pickleball continues to grow nationwide, we’re so thankful to have Jon step into this new role working to expand our pickleball program across the Eastern Shore. Bringing people and communities together has never been more important to our mission and to the health of the communities we serve.  Wendy, Shania and Jon are going to be a huge help as we work toward that goal. We can do more, and will do more with their leadership.”

Palmer is a native of the Eastern Shore, moving to the Eastern Shore when she was a child.  She joined the Y in 2017 and has develoed a passion for the YOC Chronic Disease Prevention stemming from when she started with Enhance Fitness in 2018.  During her time with the Y, she has developed our RockSteady, LiveStrong and Enhance Fitness programs and has worked to expand these programs beyond Talbot County and into other YMCA branches within the YOC Association.  Combined, these programs have served over 800 individuals and helped provide a better quality of life for participants as well as their families and loved ones.These programs are free to the community, and in this new role, she will work to establish Chronic Disease Prevention programming in every community the Y of the Chesapeake serves.  

“The Y’s mission has always been focused on helping people live their healthiest lives and reach their full potential in mind, body and spirit,” said Palmer.  “I am proud to work for an organization that is making health intervention programs a priority.  I look forward to jumping

into my new role so I can bring each community we serve these meaningful and impactful programs.”

Shania Gregory served as the Executive Director of the Robbins Family YMCA in Cambridge for the past three years and is an Easton native. Her family has roots in the “The Hill” community in Easton, one of the country’s first free black communities dating back to the early 1700s. The Y has had a presence in Talbot County since 1857, and now serves 1 out of three adults and 1 out of two kids in the County through Y programs, partnerships and collaboration. Gregory has seen the impact the Y has on communities and frequenly shares how the Y changed the course of her youth.

“I am looking forward to coming back home to reconnect and engage with Easton members and to continue to make our youth a priority; showing them that anything is possible and dreams do come true,” said Gregory. “I am an example that you can come from tough beginnings and rise to become anything you put your mind to.”

Jon Beasley has lived on the Eastern Shore of MD since 1990 and has been an avid pickleball player for the past 4 years. During that time, he’s attended at least 20 tournaments. Pickleball rise in popularity, and is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country, and on the Shore. The YOC offers Pickleball at seven of its eleven branches with 34 courts that welcome over 3,000 people.  

“I started playing [pickleball] right before COVID, and it was crucial in helping me get through that tough time,” said Beasley. “My hope is to align the YMCA of the Chesapeake’s branches to bring more continuity to the pickleball programming, inspire even more joy in the YMCA’s pickleball community, and build excitement to grow our community and the sport all across the Eastern Shore.”

To learn more about Chronic Disease programming contact, Wendy Palmer at wpalmer@ymcachesapeake.org. To learn more about the Easton Family YMCA and/or the Y @ Washington contact Shania Gregory at sgregory@ymcachesapeake.org. To find out more about Pickleball contact Jon Beaslely at jbeasley@ymcachesapeake.org

About the YMCA of the Chesapeake
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits and the largest Human Service organization on the Eastern Shore; strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the Shore, Ys engage 40,000 members and their families, regardless of age, income or background, to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the Shore’s health and wellbeing, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. The YMCA of the Chesapeake operates facilities in Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Talbot, Queen Anne’s and Wicomico Counties in Maryland and on Chincoteague Island in Virginia.