YWCA Orange County names new executive director

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NEWBURGH – Following a rigorous leadership search process, the Board of Directors of YWCA Orange County announces the appointment of Heather Bell as Executive Director.

“YWCA Orange County has more than 130 years of service to the community and we are excited to welcome Heather as the new Executive Director to continue that legacy,” said Carol Smith, Board Chair. “Heather comes to YWCA with a strong background in non-profit leadership, community collaborations, family development, and advocacy for women and girls. Her experience and expertise will build upon the agency’s long tradition of service and a mission of empowering women and eliminating racism.”


Prior to taking the helm of YWCA Orange County, Bell served as Executive Director of YMCA of White Pains. In that role she oversaw operations, staffing, and programming including aquatics, fitness, childcare, and camp. Under Heather’s leadership, YMCA of White Plains membership, family programming, and community collaborations grew and flourished.

“It’s exciting to take on the challenge of leading an organization with such a rich history and I am grateful for the opportunity,” said Bell. “Working alongside YWCA’s board and staff, I look forward to growing our programs and presence to meet the needs of Orange County residents.”

Bell earned an AAS in Business Administration from Berkeley College and was inducted into their alumni hall of fame. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Organizational and Human Resources from Nyack College. In addition to her corporate work, Heather pursued her entrepreneurial passion by establishing an award-winning event planning company while raising her two sons. She was selected to attend and completed the YMCA’s prestigious Executive Preparatory Institute. She previously served on several non-profit boards, including the Women’s Empowerment Institute, and was recently named to the Orange-Ulster BOCES CTE Advisory Board.

As she familiarizes herself with her new role, Bell has been busy getting to know the Orange County community.