Pat Morrissey, chief executive officer of the Darien YMCA for 22 years, is retiring this summer. Morrissey is best known for his leadership with four major facility renovations at the Darien Y, the last of which included a multi-year capital campaign to finance a $13 million project that was completed in 2013. The new facility features an entirely modernized building with a renovation of Holly Pond Nursery School, a purpose-built state of the art gymnastics center, new adult locker rooms, and extensive energy conversion from oil to natural gas.
The Y is the largest provider of recreational programs and services for Darien, serving over 6,000 members and over 10,000 individuals annually. It is known for its excellence in fitness, competitive gymnastics, swimming and basketball programs, and for its outstanding Holly Pond Nursery School. The Y also provides extensive services for children with special needs and rehabilitation for cancer survivors.
In addition to serving as CEO of Darien’s YMCA, Morrissey has been an active volunteer in the community. In 2011 he secured funding through the Robert Wood Johnson foundation to implement a community action plan for addressing childhood obesity. These funds provided for the installation of outdoor recreational equipment at Weed Beach. He also co-chaired Darien’s Pedestrian Infrastructure Advisory Committee, is a member of the Darien Executive Exchange, and remains a strong advocate for Darien’s Thriving Youth Initiative.
Morrissey has volunteered in numerous YMCA activities throughout his career, including serving as President of the Connecticut Alliance of YMCAs and chair of the Annual Fundraising for the General Convention of Sioux YMCAs. Moreover, he headed a team of New England YMCA CEOs to pursue international partnerships in four countries in South America. He also led a delegation of young people from the New York area to represent the United States in Mumbai, India, for the 150th anniversary of the World Alliance of YMCAs.
Morrissey started his 36-year YMCA career in 1982 as physical education director of the Rye, New York Y, and became CEO of that organization in 1991. In 1996, he accepted an offer to head the Darien Y and moved to Darien where he and wife, Gay, raised their two daughters, Kate and Elizabeth.
According to Morrissey, “It has been a great privilege to have lived in Darien and to have been a part of this exceptional organization. I have enjoyed working with so many dedicated Y volunteers, and am very proud of our Y’s professional staff team. While I will officially retire this summer, the Darien Y will always have a very special place in my heart.”
Morrissey plans to continue to pursue volunteer work in retirement. In May he will assume the role of President of the Board of Trustees of the Sioux YMCAs, which was founded in 1885 and is the only Y on a Native American reservation. He also plans to mentor and consult with new CEOs through the YMCA of the USA.
Mark Mirabile, President of the Darien YMCA Board of Directors, said, “Under Pat’s leadership, the Darien Y has grown to become a necessary provider of essential programs and services for local residents including those for individuals with special needs and cancer rehabilitation.”
“He was instrumental in four facility renovations, culminating in the beautiful community facility that we have today. His leadership will be sorely missed,” Mirabile said.