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Scott Pierce replaces Ryan Buck at the popular Sherwood facility, located just off Pacific Highway.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: SHERWOOD YMCA - Scott Pierce takes the helm at the Sherwood Regional Family YMCA.The Sherwood Regional Family YMCA has a new executive director: Scott Pierce, who replaces Ryan Buck.

Pierce took over the executive director position in December after Buck took a job in Wisconsin to be closer to family.

Pierce is from back East and has strong roots in the YMCA.

"I grew up on the East Coast, in New York, and that's where my YMCA experience started," Pierce said.

Pierce moved to Washington state for college, graduating from Gonzaga University in Spokane, before relocating again to Portland to attend graduate school at the University of Portland.

He started working for the YMCA in 2008 and says he has "been part of the Y movement ever since."

Pierce spent his youth in YMCA after school programs in and around Buffalo, New York. Both his parents were educators, he said.

"From there, at my Catholic high school, we were required to do volunteer work each year," he said. "I chose the YMCA to volunteer. I went from being a child in the program to being one of the staff members overseeing children in the program."

Pierce explained what growing up in the YMCA has meant to him.

"It was a safe place where I could be myself, I could have fun with other kids," Pierce said. "I always got support from an academic standpoint if it was classwork. Really, it just kind of felt like a second home when my parents couldn't be around.

"I felt really comfortable. I think the community aspect of the YMCA permeates in every community, and the same thing here in Sherwood, as well."

Pierce served as executive director of the Beaverton YMCA for five years prior to joining the Sherwood YMCA. Pierce moved to Sherwood last December and officially started his executive director duties Dec. 7.

Pierce is pleased with what the Sherwood YMCA has been able to accomplish.

"I think we've done a really good job the past year in pivoting to serve in different ways," he said. "Right now we have food box delivery going on to the Sherwood community. We've done blood drives, we've done outreach to seniors. We moved all of our classes to a virtual sphere to continue serving our population."

Pierce added, "We've really found different ways to continue that community feel and to serve those who need it most."

Looking to the future at the Sherwood YMCA, Pierce said, "I think our focus is really going to be, this year, on seeing what we can do to serve youth."

Pierce is hoping that the YMCA can reach out more to the community.

"We're really looking into arts program and really expanding more outside of the walls and going to serve the community wherever it's needed," he said. "I think the Y has always been a place where we've expected people to come to us.

"But with the pandemic, I think we realize that we need to either be able to reach them through a virtual way or reach them in a different way by going to different service areas or going to specific places to serve."

Working at the Sherwood YMCA as executive director, Pierce is getting to know the community.

"I know it's a very tight-knit community," he said. "It's very community-focused and community-oriented. I'm really excited to have that real strong community feel and passion about an organization like the YMCA that I know exists in Sherwood."


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