It is with a sense of enormous gratitude that I leave my position of 30 years on staff and 13 as your executive director. Working with the staff, members and board of our YWCA has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life. My years with the YWCA were a passion of mine, not just a job. I wholeheartedly believe in our mission and the work we do to make Adams County a better place to live.

As many people have experienced before me, retirement poses to be a huge change. I’ve made the YWCA my life for many years and I’m feeling many emotions right now. I am optimistic and excited but a bit nervous! I didn’t make any grandiose plans; I just want to rest and eliminate the type of stress I’ve been feeling, get back to exercising, enjoy my summer at the YWCA outdoor pools and be available to my family, especially my five wonderful grandchildren! I’ve only offered to volunteer at the YWCA and I’m told to stick to that for the first year of retirement. I’ve been warned of over committing, to take it slow and do what feels right. I am going to work hard on accepting that sage advice.

I picked this time of year to transition, feeling it would be the most beneficial to the YWCA. June 30 ends our fiscal year, new board members and officers are voted in and it is the culmination of our five year strategic plan. The timing just made sense to me.

I am very proud of our accomplishments and I truly share the YWCA’s success with the management team of our organization. In my mind, we are a real sense of the word team, discussing and making decisions together throughout the years. I have learned so much from all of the staff members that I have worked with; some lessons that will stay with me for life. There are staff members who have had a great impact on me and helped turn the organization in a positive direction that are no longer with us but their impact on me and the YWCA remains. The same holds true for our board members — some going above the call of duty to assist me! And the support from my family tops it all!

I’ve been grappling with this decision for about a year. I felt that I was unable to move the organization to the next level – where we needed to go! My successor has been named and working since mid-May. If you haven’t met Dotty Dalphon yet, please make a point to stop by and do just that! I find her very open and willing to work with everyone. The interview committee made a great choice and I remain willing to help in any way that I can. I am confident that Dotty and our YWCA team will advance our YWCA to the next level!

I now bid farewell to the organization that gave me my career — that gave me purpose — that gave me passion; this is an organization that is so very important to Adams County. I hope to continue to see many of you as I return to exercise, to volunteer for events and to even get my groceries…we all know it’s a small town!

Retiring from a work-filled day to a life with fewer responsibilities sounds so appealing and one which I’m looking forward to. I am happy to move on to the next chapter in my life but I can’t help but be a little sad that I won’t be seeing everyone on a daily basis. I’ve enjoyed (almost!) every moment here. I leave behind good feelings and step into the future with a happy heart – thanks to everyone, I’m able to do just that!

Deb Geesey is the outgoing executive director at the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County. Her last day will be June 25. Contact her until that time at dgeesey@ywcagettysburg.org.

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