Local Business

Ostrem to lead Sage YMCA

CRYSTAL LAKE – A veteran nonprofit leader will take the helm at Sage YMCA in Crystal Lake as it prepares to begin a $22 million expansion and renovation project this month.

The YMCA of Metro Chicago recently named Robyn Ostrem executive director of the local nonprofit.

Ostrem, who spent the last 13 years leading Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County, will be primarily responsible for strategic operations, fundraising, community development and staff enrichment. She will also be leading the renovation, which will more than double the size of the facility.

Ostrem said it was difficult leaving Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County.

"It was an incredibly hard decision, but this is an amazing opportunity," she said Wednesday.

Ostrem will continue to be involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County by serving as a Big Sister.

The groundbreaking is scheduled for noon Aug. 29 at Sage YMCA, 701 Manor St., Crystal Lake. Members, volunteers, donors, community leaders and residents are invited to attend the event, meet Ostrem and view the plans for the facilitiy.

Ostrem, of Lake in the Hills, will take over the role of executive director Aug 26.

Most recently, Ostrem led a strategic expansion and sustainability program as executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County. Her 13-year tenure with that organization included a variety of roles, including director of grants and special projects and director of marketing and development.

Ostrem earned her bachelor's degree from Eastern Illinois University. She is also a graduate of Leadership Greater McHenry County, which educates and encourages professionals to engage in community leadership.

The Sage YMCA expansion will include a competition pool, wellness area and a children's play area and child-care facilities. An additional 133 parking spaces also will be added to the facility for a total of 317 spaces. The expansion will add 34,430 square feet to the facility for a total building area of more than 65,000 square feet.

The Crystal Lake "Y" was renamed the Sage YMCA in June 2011 after a donation from the Foglia Family Foundation. Vince Foglia, chairman and CEO of Sage Products in Cary, did not specify the donation amount, but said it was in the millions of dollars and would be spread out over a period of four or five years.

The Crystal Lake YMCA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2011. It cited increased competition, pending lawsuits, higher insurance costs and a decline in membership. It was later absorbed by the much larger YMCA of Metro Chicago.

Despite some difficult times, Ostrem said the YMCA's "best years are yet to come" as a result of the $22 million expansion and renovation project as well as continued support from the Foglia Family Foundation.

"Y's are a pivotal part of communities across America," Ostrem said. "I'm excited to be a part of reinventing the Y here."

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