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Meet the Women of Senior Leadership

Did you know women make up over 70% of the nonprofit workforce?! As we continue celebrating Women’s History Month, we recognize the different backgrounds, experiences, journeys and stories every woman brings into their roles. Our Senior Leadership Team is comprised of 17 individuals who each hold a specific role in leading YSF. Here are the 11 women who continue to make an impact throughout our organization, communities, the nonprofit sector and beyond.

Who They Are and Their Stories

Erin Clark (she/her) is the Senior Vice President and Co-Chief Operating Officer. She leads the organization’s direct service strategy and advances our efforts to ensure individual and community health, meaningful programs for all ages and life stages and a safe, sustainable future for all. Erin is an alumna mentor of USF’s Organization Development Program, a mentor in Y-USA’s Women’s Leadership Network and a member of the Hella Social Impact Community. She lives with her husband and school-aged daughter, and loves walking her dog, Pop Culture, and living in San Francisco. Erin is a perpetual student of organizational and human development, and workplace empowerment and will always make time for a good conversation. 

Mittie Grigsby (she/her) is the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the YMCA of San Francisco. Her responsibilities include Accounting, Finance, Treasury Management, IT, Member and Program Customer Service. She is focused on ensuring all organization departments and branches receive the administrative support needed to allow them to provide services to the communities we serve. Mittie has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the 4C’s of Alameda County and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Calidad Industries, an organization dedicated to providing employment opportunities to veterans and disabled persons. She lives in Oakland and enjoys hikes with her dog Sam, gym workouts and dancing in the local Chicago-Style Stepping community.

Evelyn Daskalakis (she/her) is the Vice President of Social Services and Mental Health, and an LMFT who joined Urban Services YMCA in 2004. She strives to support youth and families by leading Urban’s mental health and family support programs.

Ingrid Freed (she/her) is the Vice President of Human Resources and People Services. She oversees recruitment and HR onboarding systems, HRIS, benefits, leave of absences, worker’s compensation and employee relations for the Association. She collaborates internally and externally with business partners strategically to establish systems and procedures for compliance with established Federal, State and Local employment guidelines to engender an overall positive employment experience throughout the employee life cycle. She brings with her over 25 years of progressive Human Resources experience, integrating her work with for-profit industries and the Y Community, where she first joined as an HR professional with the East Bay Y before joining the YMCA of San Francisco. 

Marissa Cowan (she/her) is the Vice President of Youth Development. She grew up in the Y and has been a part of the Y family for more than two decades. She has been a part of the YMCA of San Francisco since 2016. 

Takija Gardner (she/her) serves as the Senior Vice President of Governmental Relations & External Affairs for one of the largest nonprofits in the Bay Area. She is the primary liaison between partnerships with agencies, focusing specifically on federal, state and local government entities, and other nonprofit organizations focused on issues affecting social change and equity programs. Her work includes representation at community, corporate and government events to foster relationships with local leaders to impact communities served across three counties (San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin). Takija also provides strategic counsel on the executive level, including fiscal management of roughly $40 million in private and public funds. Her work dives into board governance, capital improvement, legislative and budget analysis, and strategic planning to cross-collaborate and uphold the Y’s mission to provide equity and access for all.

Rachel Del Monte (she/her) is the Vice President of Member Experience for YMCA of San Francisco. Her work centers our communities’ health through membership, wellness and aquatics programming. As a member of the Operations team, she has provided support to several branches throughout Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties in her 25-year career with YSF. Rachel is a bridge-builder, gap-filler and dot-connector for teams throughout the organization. The entrepreneurial spirit, flexibility and grit embodied by YSF staff keep her excited about the work of the Y. In her free time, Rachel enjoys home improvement projects, cooking, gardening and taking stairway hikes throughout San Francisco with her wife and two daughters. 

Kari Lee (she/her) is the Associate Vice President Operations and DIG/Equity for the YMCA of San Francisco, overseeing the Chinatown and Mission District branches as well as driving the goals of becoming an equitable and anti-racist organization. She is focused on designing and implementing a human-centered approach to system change, supporting our leaders to bring their talents, skills and lived experience to their work, and to the communities we represent and serve. Kari is a native San Franciscan, third-generation Chinese American, whose parents are born and raised in Chinatown, and is deeply rooted in the community. She is a proud mom of two children, married to a wonderful wife and enjoys exploring the surrounding nature with her dog or curling up on the couch with a good book as well as home cooked meals with family and friends. As a Chinese American, lesbian, mom, sister, wife and daughter, Kari continues to build her voice and bring her own lived experience to her work. She is lifted by the voices of young people who are paving the way to our future and deeply moved by the recent growing representation of API’s in media and movies. She strives to honor and include the intersectionality she represents with every interaction and action she takes.

Lara Hitchcock (she/her) is the Associate Vice President of People Strategy for the YMCA of San Francisco, focusing on the employee experience, organizational decision making and internal communications. She is passionate about leadership development, culture and the trends shaping the future of work, and loves that her job is about connecting dots, supporting staff and positive change in our communities. Lara serves as a board member for Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) and is a trustee for American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), an Alumni Mentor for Boston College students and a volunteer for the San Francisco Glens Soccer Club. She lives with her husband and two teen sons, and loves yoga, TRX boot camp and hiking in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. 

In her spare time, Lara is learning about philology (the study of the history of language) and is fascinated with her WHOOP (fitness band tracking sleep, recovery and strain) and all it has taught her about her own well-being. Lara’s eldest child is anaphylactic to nuts and as a “food allergy mom,” she’s dedicated to Food Allergy education, awareness and equity. Forever on the hunt for new book & podcast recommendations, Lara loves learning about innovation, change management, enneagram, women in leadership, French & Celtic traditions, photography and travel.

Lauren Clapperton (she/her) is the Associate Vice President of Health Initiatives and Community Wellness. She leads the organization's strategic direction as well as program and service implementation for well-being, including behavior change, disease management and prevention, seniors, group exercise, personal training and new member experience. Lauren is also the Executive Director of the Stonestown Family Y in the Sunset District of San Francisco which serves families, active older adults and youth through gymnasium and pool facilities, senior center, afterschool programming, youth sports and camp.

Rosanna Gomez (she/her) is the Associate Vice President of Leadership Development and International Relations. She has worked for the YMCA of San Francisco for over 42 years and has held this position for 18 years. Prior to that, Rosanna was the Branch Manager and Associate Executive Director for the Stonestown Family YMCA for 16 years, supervising most of the program areas at the branch level. She is a Y-USA certified trainer in many of the Leadership Certification courses and several other Y-USA courses. Rosanna completed her master's degree in leadership with Capella University in June of 2018 and enjoys traveling, reading, and singing at church and in choirs as well as spending time with her sons and family, including her German Shepherd, Annie, and two Chihuahuas, Max and Madison!

Women: Leaders of Today and Tomorrow

These remarkable women are leading one of the country's oldest and most respected non-profit organizations. Many have been with us through the challenges YSF and our communities have faced in the past few decades. They have been at the frontlines for our communities while adjusting to remote work as mothers and caregivers. They have continued to lead the Y and guide our Women’s Leadership Network's work. For these and many more reasons, we thank them. The YMCA of San Francisco is committed to building an equitable future for all, especially where women have the opportunities and support to become leaders for generations to come.