The Y would like to welcome two new members to our Capital District YMCA family, Mark Straubel and Gussie Yonashiro. Mark Straubel
Senior Vice President of Operations/Chief Operations Officer
With 19+ years of YMCA experience in three different states, Mark has enjoyed success in diverse settings and communities. He brings to the Capital District YMCA his passion and commitment for the Y mission, coupled with a strong track record of community leadership.
Mark has been an Executive Director for YMCA’s in both New Jersey and Texas, where he championed increasing the impact and collaborative opportunities within the community. Most recently, Mark served as Vice President of Operations for the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, one of the largest YMCAs in the country. While in Dallas, Mark helped the YMCAs he oversaw become healthy, vibrant focal points for community development.
Mark is a graduate of Springfield College (MA) where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. Upon graduation, Mark and his wife Colleen (also a Springfield College graduate) relocated to Wilmington, Delaware where he began his Y career.
Mark believes the Y must continue to develop its role as a community leader and organizational partner with a focus on nurturing youth development, energizing healthy living, and inspiring social responsibility. He feels fortunate to be part of an organization that lives its mission every day and truly makes a difference in the lives of kids and families within the community.
Mark has his private pilot’s license and enjoys all sports. He has a special passion for volleyball, having coached at the high school, collegiate, and club level, and officiated for USA Volleyball competitions.
The Straubel family spends their summers on Lake George. Mark and Colleen are excited for their children (Cailyn, Rebecca, and Brian) to enjoy all that the northeast has to offer.
Senior Vice President of Membership & Program Development
With17+ years of Y senior management experience, Gussie brings a wealth of expertise to the Capital District YMCA. She has served as the COO/VP of Operations for the Lake County YMCA and as the VP of Operations for the YMCA of Greater St. Paul. In both positions, Gussie led or provided her expertise in centralizing Association-wide strategies regarding organizational strategic direction and tactics, financial development and fiscal stability, leadership development, and community engagement and partnerships.
While at St. Paul, Gussie led leadership development for all 12 membership directors. In that role, Gussie implemented training on connecting, retraining, and enhancing the value of membership.
Gussie is passionate about improving the quality of life for others and helping people realize their full potential, and has built strong staff teams that work together to deliver Association strategic initiatives. While at St. Paul, Gussie lead many new ventures including the Emerging Leader Program which involved training and developing top-performing leaders. Gussie also led the Diversity Initiative and the creation of the Corporate Urban Youth Development Department.
Gussie has a Master’s of Science in Human Services from National-Louis University in Evanston (IL) and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Carthage College in Kenosha (WI).
Gussie is a member of a number of Y-USA affiliations, including the Multicultural Executive Development Initiative (MEDI) Program, the Association of YMCA Professional Directors, and the National Association of Asian American Professionals.
In her spare time, Gussie likes to read science fiction & detective novels, cook and garden. She has two daughters, Aubrey who is a High School teacher for the Chicago Public Schools, and Colleen, who is an intensive care nurse.