Douglas Pszczolkowski, CEO
Doug grew up in the Y and has worked in the YMCA movement for over 35 years (22 full-time). His hometown YMCA, Allegheny Valley YMCA outside of Pittsburgh is where he learned to swim and play various sports. Doug held his first job as a lifeguard and swimming instructor there. He also coached the swim team, soccer and basketball teams and as a resident camp counselor at Camp Wakitatina. Doug worked in aquatics and membership services at the Meadville Family YMCA (PA) throughout his college year. He began his career in aquatics and membership services as a director at the Phoenixville Area YMCA (PA). Doug moved to the YMCA of Greater Hartford where he opened and operated in several capacities at two new facilities: the Farmington Valley Branch YMCA and Downtown YMCA. He served as Executive Director at both branches. Since 2008, Doug has been the CEO at the Hopewell Valley YMCA. He has a strong passion for the mission of the YMCA and has deep family roots in the Y. Doug graduated from Allegheny College (PA). He holds numerous certifications and enjoys serving as a faculty member of the YMCA of the USA’s Leadership Competency Development program. Doug is a volunteer instructor for the American Heart Association in CPR and First Aid. He also volunteers as an instructor for Darkness To Light’s Stewards of Children and the Mental Health National Council as an instructor in Mental Health First Aid.
Doug is an avid fan of Pittsburgh sports teams. He is a proud father of two boys: Joel and Daniel. His wife Amy is the Assistant Dean of the Graduate School at Princeton University. They reside in the Washington’s Crossing area of Titusville where Doug also serves as a volunteer EMT with the Union Fire Company and Rescue Squad.
Daniel Williams, Sr. Program Director
Dan has been a member of the YMCA family for over 20 years. He first started with the YMCA as a camper at his hometown Y and over the years has stayed engaged with the YMCA, through volunteering, teaching classes and community engagement. Dan has had the pleasure of teaching various program, and he connects greatly with Summer Camp. Dan is a certified American Heart Association BLS Instructor, a Darkness to Light Instructor, has his YMCA Team Leader Certification and is a visitor for the American Camping Association.
In his spare time, Dan likes coaching and playing volleyball. His favorite part of the job is watching the growth of the participants as they advance through the programs.
Kathy Pietras, Office Manager
Kathy is originally from the Cayman Islands and has worked for the Hopewell Valley YMCA for the past five years. Her position as an office manager allows her to be involved in all aspects of the Y and to serve the Pennington community which she finds very satisfying.
Kathy has been married to her husband Michael, who grew up in Pennington, for twenty-one years with whom she has two children, Kaitlin 16, and Hannah, 12.
Karen Sharp, Child Development Director
Karen has been working with kids since high school when she started tutoring younger students and assisting her Mom with coaching her local youth softball program. She grew up in nearby Lambertville and still considers it home to this day even though she hasn’t lived in town for almost 20 years. She graduated from TCNJ with a degree in Elementary Education and History, and began her teaching career in primarily 2nd and 3rd Grade classrooms while also taking graduate classes at Villanova University. After taking various long term substitute positions for a couple of years while searching for the “perfect” job, she accepted a position with Bright Horizons Family Solutions and spent the next 10 years working in a variety of positions at local programs until she accepted the Assistant Director’s position at Janssen Pharmaceutical when she moved to Ewing with her husband, Michael. She stayed in that position for several years, and only left after her second child was born and she decided to take some time off from work to try being a full-time Mom. After a couple of years of being at home she interviewed for a part-time position as a Co-Director of the Hopewell Valley After School Program (HVASP) as her family was moving to the Titusville area, and she was ready to begin working again. This position was the perfect balance of spending some time at home with her kids and working around their scheduling needs, and she enjoyed the challenge of growing the small program for 8 years as it more than tripled in size during those years. When the HVASP organization merged with the HVYMCA in January 2012, Karen moved in to her current position as the Child Care Director and finds the connection to the families in the Hopewell Valley community to be what keeps her coming back each school year.
Karen is a devoted Yankees fan as she has been surrounded by a her husband and family who are fanatics her whole life, however she prefers the San Francisco 49ers football team and enjoys the weekly arguments on Sundays when the Niners play the Raiders, Dolphins, or Eagles teams that her family prefers. She tries to spend every Sunday in Lambertville with her extended family for huge family dinner nights and walking around town, but sometimes struggles to get there when attending her children’s many sporting events as they play travel baseball & softball, and football and also are on teams at HVCHS. After attending the Before/After School Programs while in elementary school or TMS, both of her children, Meredith (age 18) and Jarrett (age 14) , have been volunteers for our Safety Town Program, so most of the Sharp family is involved in the YMCA at this point in some way.
Dana Zissman, Marketing, Finance and Community Development Director
Although Dana is new to the YMCA family, she has been working with organizations who support children and the community for over 25 years. She is a pivotal part of the Hopewell Valley YMCA team as she organizes all activities related to programming, events, campaigns and marketing materials, while continuing to build relationships in the local community. Besides working at the YMCA, Dana also works as a personal assistant for a CEO in NYC. Dana has been involved in many team sports, either playing or coaching, including swimming, softball, basketball, tennis, volleyball, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, football, gymnastics, racquetball, dance, T-ball, billiards, ice skating, figure skating, horse back riding, badminton, table tennis, track and field, just to name a few.
Dana has four wonderful children, ages 10-18 three of whom attend school in the Montgomery School District and her oldest attending Muhlenberg College. Dana enjoys walking, knitting, organizing, and playing with her three rescue fur babies Skye, Chester and Chango. You may see her son, Eric tutoring at the Hopewell Valley YMCA on Wednesday evenings at the Youth Activity Center.