In March 2016, the Greater Joliet Area YMCA named Heather Perkins as its Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. A YMCA professional of nearly 20 years, Heather has worked in communities across Kentucky, Georgia and Indiana, helming nearly every YMCA program imaginable. Her most impactful work, however, has come within the youth development realm, where she has been a driving force behind a wide variety of exciting, innovative programs for kids and teens.
Prior to joining the Greater Joliet Area YMCA, Heather was the Executive Director of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis’ Youth Development Center that served 128 schools and more than 6,000 youth daily. She also held executive positions with the State YMCA of Georgia and the Kentucky YMCA.
Growing up in Englewood, Colorado, Heather learned to swim and received before and after school care thanks to the local YMCA. Her connection to the Y only grew stronger after moving to Shelbyville, Kentucky, where she joined the Y leaders club. It was during this time period, which Heather now refers to as “one of the best experiences of [her] life,” that she fully realized the importance of the Y’s mission.