New Board Members and Officers Serving Our Community

The YMCA of Central New York welcomes new officers and members to the Board of Directors, following their election at the organization’s 165th Annual Meeting in June.  

Two new members were elected to the board:

  • Joe Cotter is Chief Financial Officer with Hueber-Breuer Construction.
  • Subhash Viswanathan practices law at Bond, Schoeneck & King

The following members were elected to leadership positions:

Bishop Colette Matthews-Carter is the first Black Chair & Chief Volunteer Officer and the second woman to hold this role for the organization. A former government official, she is currently employed as the Director of The El-Hindi Center for Dialogue & Action at InterFaith Works CNY. She has been a DEI practitioner and trainer for over 20 years.
A community advocate and civic leader, Bishop Carter is the immediate past president of the Syracuse/Onondaga NAACP. She is a graduate of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, earning a degree in Political Science. She completed graduate work at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, NY. Matthews-Carter has served in the pastorate for 25 years. She is the senior pastor of the Zion Hill World Harvest Baptist Church and prelate of the Covenant Fellowship of Churches Inc. She also serves as the Chaplain for NYSAC (New York State Association of Counties).
Bishop Carter is the recipient of numerous leadership awards and commendations including the; New York State Senate “Woman of Distinction”, the Delta Sigma Theta “Marjorie Dowdell Fortitude Award”, and the Omega Psi Phi “Citizen of the Year Award.” Additionally, she is the recipient of The Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse “2021 Leadership Award” and the 2022 “President’s Award” given by The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. In 2021, City and State publication listed her among the “Upstate New York Power 100.” Along with our board, Bishop Carter currently serves with CNY Arts; Leadership Greater Syracuse, and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. She strives to embody the ideals of Dr. King’s “Beloved Community.”

"I am deeply honored to become the next Board Chair and CVO of the YMCA of Central New York. The YMCA is an incredible organization whose mission aligns with my values. I feel humbled to continue the great legacy of excellence that all of my predecessors exhibited.  I am equally excited to support the CEO and members of the board of directors. I feel confident that the post-pandemic growth we've experienced in fund development, increase in memberships, programming, and community partnerships will continue. I look forward to expanding the work that we do in reaching, touching, and transforming lives."

Kenyon A. Black is 1st Vice Chair and became the first Black board officer for our Y in his previous role as Secretary. A native of Syracuse, NY. A proud graduate of SCSD: HW Smith Elementary School, Levy Middle School, and Nottingham High School, Mr. Black also earned his bachelor’s in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management from Cheyney University in Cheyney, Pa. and then received his master's degree in Higher Education from Le Moyne College. He currently serves as the Program Director for the Le Moyne College Upward Bound Program. Mr. Black is a deacon at Promise Land Church in East Syracuse, an elected board member of SCSD Foundation, board member of Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Inc. Mr. Black loves his community and wants to make sure equity and inclusion is in the forefront!

“I know what the Y did for me as a child and as an adult. I want my children, their friends, and the community of Syracuse to enjoy the same experiences while learning about themselves and others. Volunteerism starts from the heart and once you open your heart you open yourself to possibilities and growth.”

Geoff Wells is serving in the role of Treasurer. He is a Partner and Certified Financial Planner at BPC Advisors LLC.  In addition to serving on the YMCA of Central New York Board of Directors, he also serves as the Treasurer for the Niagara District of Masters Swimming. In his spare time, Geoff enjoys traveling, competing in both USA-S and Masters Swimming, and spending time with his wife Amanda and daughters Norah and Ava.  

"I have chosen to volunteer at the YMCA of Central New York because of the sheer size of its impact. Serving over 40,000 community members is both a privilege and an honor."

Sarah E. Ruhlen (she/her) is serving as Secretary (Interim). She is admitted to practice in New York and Pennsylvania and currently serves as co-chair of the EEO Committee of the NYSBA Labor and Employment Law Section and on the Board of Directors of the Onondaga County Bar Association. She is a member of the AFL-CIO Union Lawyers Alliance.
Ms. Ruhlen represents Employees in race, sex, religion, national origin, color, age, disability, sexual orientation, TGNC, and other discrimination claims, as well as wage and hour, family leave, severance, non-competes, and other employment matters. She works with private and public sector unions in the healthcare, public safety, education, transportation, and other industries.
Ms. Ruhlen is a graduate of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law (2011), where she earned a joint JD/MPA degree, specializing in Public Sector Labor Law. She is an alumna of both the Peggy Browning Fellowship Program and the AFL-CIO Law Student Union Summer.

"I serve on the Board of Directors because I believe in YCNY’s ongoing commitment to diversity and social justice in the community and I want to be part of making that vision real."

The full list of members of the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Central New York can be found at:

Locations: Metro Offices
Category: Y News