April From the Director

We’re excited to welcome Sarrah Davis as the new Operations Director of the Bear Levin Studer Y and the Pullum Y, beginning April 5. A dynamic leader with a community health and public administration background, Sarrah’s specialties include mission advancement, outreach, and collaboration.

“I’m very excited to be part of a team that is ready for growth, a team who is excited for a leader to continue what their previous director has done,” she said. “There is opportunity for us to be more connected to the community, and the staff is interested in moving in that direction. That is my background in the Y: Doing things the Y way outside of the walls, which in turn brings people into our facility.”

Sarrah will assume the leadership responsibilities of both branches from Bill Seedes, who has accepted a position with the Greater Philadelphia YMCA. He is returning to his hometown, where he will continue his Y career as the Executive Leader of the Willow Grove YMCA.

Sarrah comes to us from the YMCA of South Florida, where she most recently served as the Associate Executive Director of the L.A. Lee Branch in Ft. Lauderdale. Her experience includes working with youth leadership development, managing programs that target chronic disease and promote healthy options, and creating and leading a depression self-management program. “I have an entrepreneur’s spirit, and I put action behind what I say,” Sarrah said. That entrepreneurial spirit has led her to professional experiences in the Y and several other nonprofits and prompted her to start her own business as well.

Sarrah is a first generation American, born in the Virgin Islands to parents who are natives of Nevis, a small island in the Caribbean Sea about 50 miles west of Antigua. The youngest of five, she moved to the U.S. with her family in the 1990s. And even though she’s the baby, she said, “I was the first to do everything because I’m the bravest!”

A native of Jacksonville, Sarrah said she sees some similarities between her hometown and Pensacola, but acknowledged that it will be a change. She’s excited to move to a city with potential where residents are open to change. She laughed that one nice downshift will be in traffic. “Some areas of town may have traffic, but nothing compared to the traffic I’m accustomed to! It’s going to be a change in a way I’ve longed for.”

An active person who loves the outdoors, Sarrah is looking forward to Pensacola’s mild climate, beaches and opportunities to be active. “I’m an island girl, so I have to be near the water,” she said. She enjoys organized sports, especially soccer, cooking, dancing, and trying new things.

As she begins her leadership role with our Y, Sarrah encourages members to stop by, introduce themselves and chat. “I will always stop to hear what members have to say, and I’m going to ask a lot of questions.”

But she isn’t going to let members, and staff, off the hook. She believes leadership is a shared responsibility.

“This is our Y. This is our community. And so it’s on all of us to grow it.”
Our Mission: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.