Fricke named new Putnam County YMCA CEO

By Jennifer Peryam -

OTTAWA — Ron Fricke has been named as the new CEO at the Putnam County YMCA and looks forward to helping YMCA goers meet their health goals.

Fricke, 56, assumed his role on Dec. 3 and replaced Lori Fetherolf. His duties will be to develop partnerships and help raise funding for the YMCA’s programs and activities and oversee the organization’s day to day operations.

He has served as the deputy director for the Toledo Zoo where he oversaw fundraising and the animal department, conservation and education. He also served as vice president for the Zoological Society of Philadelphia where he oversaw education programs.

Fricke holds a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Carnegie Mellon University and an elementary teacher certification. He and his wife Debra have four children, two of which are twins.

Fricke lives in Whitehouse, Ohio, and said he has been a YMCA member for years in Toledo and Philadelphia.

“I’m excited to work at the Y and guide the direction of the Y,” Fricke said. He added that members and staff have been friendly and welcoming.

Fricke said he has personally befitted from the YMCA in Toledo where over the past five years he lost over 180 pounds through exercise.

As a new year is around the corner Fricke said a YMCA membership makes a great Christmas present that will keep giving back to them all year long.

He spoke about the importance of YMCAs.

“They provide a lot of service to their members as far as fitness, health and helping members learn how to care for themselves,’ Fricke said.

The YMCA has a fitness center with elliptical, cardio and treadmill machines, as well as free weights. There also is an Olympic size pool and gym to play basketball and pickle ball that is similar to tennis. The YMCA has its own swim team who compete against area teams.

In addition to these services he said he looks forward to working to continue to provide fitness programs for youth and adults.

Youth have after school programs where they learn about nutrition and the importance of exercise in a classroom setting.

Adult programming range from guest speakers talking about nutrition, aerobics, spin classes, and trainers.

The YMCA is planning for a 5K walk and run at 11 a.m. Jan. 1. Chili and hot chocolate will be served following the race. The cost is $25 per person and registration can be done online at

By Jennifer Peryam

Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.

Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.

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