Youth and Family Services YMCA Welcomes Valerie Kissell as New Executive Director


Youth and Family Services YMCA is proud to announce Valerie Kissell as its new Executive Director. Kissell is an accomplished Executive Director with over 20 years of executive leadership and partnership building in the nonprofit and public sector. Youth and Family Services YMCA is a branch of the Channel Islands YMCA, focused on the safety, health and well-being of youth in high-risk environments.

“We are thrilled to welcome Valerie to her new role,” said Sal Cisneros, President and CEO of the Channel Islands YMCA. “She brings leadership and a deep commitment to those who are vulnerable, especially the community’s children and youth that Youth and Family Services YMCA programs serve.”

Kissell’s public sector experience includes serving as a District Manager and as Director of Operations in the transportation industry, with extensive responsibility for management, planning, budgeting and marketing. Her nonprofit experience was as Executive Director of an urban Transit Authority in which she worked with 21 regional municipalities and managed an $8 million dollar operating budget, and responsibility for securing, local, state and federal grants.

Kissell was also sole proprietor of a local consulting company, Sustainable Solutions, serving the non-profit sector specializing in services to vulnerable populations such as veterans, youth, disabled individuals and elderly.

“It is a privilege to join a team so dedicated to supporting young people through circumstances that no one should have to experience at any age,” said Kissell. “This team extends beyond our wonderful staff, to a full roster of volunteers, supporters and partners who care deeply and generously.”

Kissell is active in the community and volunteers for a number of organizations. She has served as the Chairman of the “Safeguard the Children” program at a local parish and as a member of the USC Center for Innovation and Research – Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative.  She is also well known in the Y, having served on the Montecito Family YMCA Board of Managers for the past three years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Ohio University.


About Youth and Family Services YMCA

Youth and Family Services YMCA serves over 600 children and young people each year through Noah’s Anchorage Youth Crisis Shelter, the St. George Family Teen Center, My Home, and Support and Outreach Services. Children and young people in high-risk environments that participate in Youth and Family Services YMCA programs experience increased safety, health and wellbeing and they increase their capacity for self-sufficiency by building skills for independence and developing lasting relationships with adults who are committed to their success. For more information about the Youth and Family Services YMCA, visit or call (805) 569-1103.

Established in 1887, the Channel Islands YMCA is a charitable organization of seven YMCA branches serving Santa Barbara and Ventura counties including: Camarillo Family YMCA, Lompoc Family YMCA, Montecito Family YMCA, Santa Barbara Family YMCA, Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA in Santa Ynez, Ventura Family YMCA, and Youth and Family Services YMCA.

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