Getting Ahead

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Armstrong Comes Home to Lead Central Branch YMCA

February 20, 2020

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Shawn Armstrong grew up at the Central YMCA of Youngstown, “a safe place,” he says, where he played his first pick-up basketball game. “The Y was instrumental in developing my confidence and social abilities.”

After graduating from Chaney High School in 1999, Armstrong left Youngstown to pursue higher education and launch a career in radiology technology and health-care administration. He dreamed of one day coming home, and “giving back” to the community that gave him so much. Today he is doing just that as the new executive director of the Central YMCA in downtown Youngstown.

Armstrong was the regional administrator of the University of North Carolina Physicians Network, overseeing seven primary care and specialty physician practices in the western region of the Research Triangle, when he learned the YMCA of Youngstown was searching for a Central Y executive director.

“Being a Youngstown native, I always held a desire to one day return to the city that helped raise me,” he says. “The YMCA of Youngstown is an anchor in the community, and I saw this position as an incredible opportunity to give back and make a difference.”

Armstrong began his new position Feb. 6. He was hired following a nationwide search, a series of interviews and a visit back to his hometown. He and his wife, Amanda, have three young daughters: Grace, Hannah and Mariah.

“What impressed me most about Shawn is that he is a success story from our community, someone who grew up on the east side of Youngstown, graduated from Chaney High School and achieved a successful career in the health-care industry in Raleigh, North Carolina,” says Tom Gacse, CEO of the YMCA of Youngstown.

“Shawn made it clear to me that the Central YMCA executive director position gave him the opportunity he always dreamed about – and that is to come back to the community where he grew up and help transform the lives of kids and families who live here. He can relate to the youth who come to the Central Y to play basketball, swim and grow in spirit, mind and body because he was one of those kids,” Gacse says.

Armstrong graduated in 2008 from the Beaumont Hospital School of Radiologic Technology in Royal Oak, Michigan. He earned a bachelor of applied science radiologic science/health care management degree from Sienna Heights University in Adrian, Mich. in 2010, and his master of health care aministration from Siena Heights University in 2013.

Armstrong was a radiologic technologist for six years at Beaumont Hospital before being promoted to supervisor of radiology. He was recruited by the Detroit Medical Center where he was manager of radiology. In 2016 he relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina where he was manager of imaging services for WakeMed North Campus, then held the same position at WakeMed Cary Hospital in Cary, North Carolina.

In 2018, he was named regional administrator of UNC Physicians Network.

“Shawn’s experience leading teams, both large and small, in for-profit and nonprofit organizations, along with improving the well-being of others with his experience in health care, translates perfectly into his new role at the Central YMCA,” Gacse says.

“We are so blessed to have Shawn as part of our senior leadership team.”

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.