YMCA of the Pines is led by a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors.
The Board is charged with ensuring we are financially healthy, mission oriented, and strategically driven.
David Herron of Medford is currently the Board President and the Chief Volunteer Officer for the YMCA of the Pines board. He serves on the following committees: Governance, Strategic Planning, Finance and Development.
David said he joined the board so that he could help guide the future direction of camp. He hopes to bring leadership and concern for the development and well-being of today’s youth in his role on the board.
Youth development is the most important part of camp’s mission, according to David. “The future of YMCA of the Pines looks bright because there is in place a strong staff, good leadership and a clear path forward.”
Board Vice Chair
Bio coming soon
In her professional career, Lynne is a Technical Writer, ASRC Federal (for the Federal Aviation Administration). She currently serves as the Board Secretary; Chair of the Fund Development Committee; Member of the Strategic Planning Committee; and Member of the Master Planning Committee.
Her previous experience at YMCA of the Pines was a camper, seasonal staff member, camper parent and Alumni volunteer.
“It is a privilege for me to be a volunteer for YMCA of the Pines, because I feel strongly about the importance of giving back to an organization that gave so much to me and four generations of my family. My experiences at camp enhanced my life in a profound way, and I would like to play a part in helping others have that same experience.”
Lynne said that the most valuable thing she bring to her position is her passion for the benefits that a camp experience has to offer children and teens, as evidenced by her own camp story. “Professionally, I come with a background and expertise in quality assurance, process improvement, and technical writing for the medical industry and the federal government.”
The most impactful part of camp’s mission, in Lynne’s view, is developing healthy, confident, and community-involved children. “In so doing, we ultimately make the world a better place.”
The current staff at YMCA of the Pines comprises young, bright leaders who bring a modern, diverse view to how summer camp can enhance the lives of children and families in this always-changing world. Most importantly, they understand and value the importance of keeping many of the beloved traditions on which the camp was founded.
Lynne points out that her Grandmother, Lillie Brown, was a counselor at Camp Matollionequay in its inaugural year, 1937. “My extended family has been represented at one of the camps in every decade since.”
Pat Begley has been a board member at YMCA of the Pines since 2017 and serves on the Financial Development Committee. She joined the board so that she can help insure the camp has all it needs for a solid future and is here for years to come.
“I have raised two children successfully and had to make summer program selections with them,” Pat explained. “I know what they were looking for at the time and what we, as parents, wanted from the program.”
Pat is a successful business executive and brings more than 35 years of experience to the board. “The most important point is that I am passionate about children’s welfare and want to do everything possible to give them the best chance to have meaningful lives.”
The most important part of camp’s mission, according to Pat, is the commitment to serve as many children as possible. “I am thrilled that no child is turned away and I look forward to learning more about the youth leadership programs as that can be so important for their future.”
The future of camp looks bright, Pat says, “because the staff is so passionate and has the children’s best interests close to their hearts.”
Pat and her family have lived across the street from camp for more than 10 years and only took her first tour of the 800-acre property in 2017, the year she joined the board. “I was amazed with all that the camp offers and the beautiful setting that is somewhat hidden. I would like to help change the ‘hidden’ aspect, so that more people know about us.”
Nicki Bodenstein of Medford joined the board of YMCA of the Pines in 2017. She is a member of the Human Resources Committee, co-chair of the Opioid Awareness Committee and chair of the Board Component of Annual Campaign.
Asked why she was inspired to join the board, Nicki explained: “The camp had a huge positive impact on my son’s life. I got to see him grow from camper, LIT, CIT, director of Archery, to developing a music program for summer camp. I’m at a point in my life where I would like to give back and I wanted to offer my volunteerism to this wonderful organization.”
Nicki has years of experience in HR and has connections to the medical community. She has lived in Medford for the past 35 years and raised three children in the township. “I love educating the community and I love being a part of offering camp experiences to children who could not afford to do so on their own.”
Nicki said teaching the four core values to as many children as possible is the most important part of camp’s mission. “It makes me proud to provide camp experiences to children who may only have inner city experiences, and I love that camp gives children the opportunity to grow in ways they could not even imagine.”
She said that since joining the board, she’s been very impressed by the passion, creativity and knowledge base of the directors, the CEO, the CVO and the board officials. “Their ingenuity and drive makes the future of camp look bright to me.”
Nicki’s favorite thing about camp is the impact it has had on her son. “Meeting all of his camp friends from working at Lake Stockwell for so many summers has been wonderful,” she said. “Gary Graham, the former CEO, was also my neighbor for many years and I learned a lot about what the camp offered through his friendship.”
Merle Brown of Shamong joined the board in 2018 and also sits on camp’s Governance Board.
As part of her job, she regularly works with non-profits, which is how she learned about the good work at YMCA of the Pines. “My professional life requires me to work with many non-profits across Burlington and Camden counties,” Merle explains. “As I got to know the camp and the staff, I recognized the impact that camp has through its programs on children, teens and families. Many of the other non-profits I work with are touched by this camp through outreach to the community and scholarship programs that allow children to experience camping and the outdoors. I also grew up in the area and camps Ockanickon, Matollionequay and Lake Stockwell are a mainstay in the community. It’s an honor to be a part of the organization.”
Merle is Director of Corporate Giving and Financial Literacy for Beneficial Bank and the Beneficial Foundation. “I have the opportunity to interact and volunteer with non-profits and I believe this provides me with a unique insight and perspective into our community’s changing needs and how other non-profits are responding. I have worked with senior high youth and guided them on mission trips and watched as they step outside their comfort zones and witnessed the growth that always occurs. The Y Camp provides that same experience.”
She believes every camper will experience something that pushes them beyond their fear or their perceived limitations. “Going to camp here provides them a safe and supportive community where they can step out and not be afraid of failing,” she said. “I also know that the year-round programming for children, teens and families is having an enormous impact in our communities.”
Merle is particularly impressed with the dedicated staff of innovative leaders who routinely demonstrate their willingness to change and adapt to the changing needs of the communities we serve. “My fellow board members bring an incredible amount of experience and leadership to the table as well. And to a person, staff and board members, each one is singly focused on the children, teens and families we serve.”
Asked if she has a favorite camp story, Merle responded: “Well, truth be told, I was not fortunate enough to be able to attend camp as a child here or anywhere for that matter. However, in full disclosure, I did trespass here regularly as a young person and can attest to the camp’s many wonderful attributes!”
Bio coming soon
Tom is the past chairman of the Marketing Committee and member of the Strategic Planning Committee on the board at YMCA of the Pines.
He joined the board to help continue to provide a magical place for children to develop, learn and become leaders.
Tom brings expertise as a former head counselor at camp, in addition to his professional sales and marketing career of over 25 years.
The most impactful part of camp’s mission to Tom is “growing children, teens and families.”
He added: “The future of camp looks bright because we are financially stable and have the trust of the community in us to develop our youth.”
As for his favorite camp story, Tom says there are “too many to count.” He recommends that people come to camp to make their own memories today!
When Kristi Howell joined the Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce (BCRCC) as its president and CEO in December 2002, she became only the second executive in its 27-year history. Since then, the Chamber has grown and evolved through her focus on membership, programming, annual budgeting and staffing. Committees now available to BCRCC members as a result of Ms. Howell’s vision include: Women in Business, the Military Relations Council, the Young Professionals Network, Employment Practices, the Hospitality & Tourism Council, and the Healthcare Issues Council.
An active member of the Burlington County community, Kristi serves on numerous boards and committees including YMCA of the Pines, which she joined in 2017. Her most recent board appointments are with the American Cancer Society and the South Jersey Tourism Corporation. She also serves on the following organizations’ boards and committees:
- River Route Advisory Committee (appointed by Burlington County Board of Freeholders)
- Burlington County Institute of Technology (BCIT) District Advisory Council
- BCIT Foundation Board
- Soul Connect Advisory Board
- Burlington County Sheriff’s Gang-Prevention Task Force
Ms. Howell is a founding member of Chambers of Commerce United for Business Growth, a statewide coalition of regional and local chambers. She co-chairs the Joint Base Open House Foundation, which raises funds for its Annual Open House & Air Expo at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB MDL). Another commitment in Kristi’s JB MDL portfolio is the Honorary Commander’s Program.
Kristi Howell is a longtime resident of Burlington County (over 30 years). She holds a Bachelor of Arts (in Government and Politics) from Widener University. Prior to joining the BCRCC, Kristi worked with NJ Governor Christine Todd Whitman and Acting Governor/NJ Senate President Donald DiFrancesco at the State House in Trenton.
Rich Lewis has been a board member since 2014 and serves (or served) on the following committees: Strategic Planning, Diversity Inclusion and Global (DIG), and Ad Hoc Marketing Committee.
“This camp is an amazing gift to the community. The ability to teach the Core Values of the YMCA in the natural environment of the New Jersey Pinelands is unique and irreplaceable. As a board member, I want to help guide and expand the reach of this amazing asset.”
Rich, who is president and owner of Burlington Press, has more than 25 years of business management experience. He is also a strong advocate for the preservation of the Pinelands and a strong believer in the YMCA’s mission.
He is particularly proud of the way YMCA of the Pines connects children to the natural world while developing a strong sense of values and self-esteem.
“The future of camp looks bright because we are a unique organization in a unique place, our staff and leadership is experienced and dedicated, we have a strong and dedicated board and a well thought out strategic plan. We are also financially sound.”
Rich grew up with a passion for the outdoors. After joining YMCA of the Pines’ board and visiting while summer camp was in session, he learned first-hand how the camp experience influences the lives of young people while making them comfortable with the natural world around them.
Timothy Little is the President of Little Construction Co., Inc., Mount Holly, NJ and the owner of Pemberton Farms Research Campus, an Industrial Park in Pemberton, NJ. A 1979 graduate of Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) with a B.A. in Education, Tim taught Industrial Arts at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly for two years prior to starting Little Construction Co., Inc. in 1982. Tim is a past President and current member of the Atlantic Northeast Chapter of the National Frame Building Association and a current member of many South Jersey and Burlington County Professional Organizations. A former longtime camper, Tim has served on the YMCA of the Pines Board of Directors since 2009, been an every year member of the Chairman’s Round Table since 2005, and has been volunteering at the organization since 2003. Tim has been the NJ YMCA State Alliance Volunteer of the year in 2003 and 2008, and the YMCA Sue and Dave Mitchell Volunteer of the year in 2007. Born and raised in Mount Holly, Tim currently resides in Vincentown, NJ with his wife Jill and their son Chris, five miniature donkeys and two cats.
Bio coming soon
Bio coming soon
Bio coming soon