Forest City Family YMCA CEO to lead Albert Lea Y during transition phase

Published 8:51 pm Tuesday, September 7, 2021

As one-door closes another door is opening at the Albert Lea Family YMCA.

After almost 23 years as the executive director and as a pillar in the community, Dennis Dieser retired last week; and Bruce Mielke, current CEO of the Forest City Family YMCA, will be stepping in to help make the transition a bit easier and provide daily leadership to both organizations, according to a press release.

According to Charles Newell, the Albert Lea board chairman, “Since 1984, Dennis Dieser has been the heart and the soul of the Albert Lea Family Y. His continued dedication to youth development, healthy living and strong sense of civic duty remained consistent and simply speaks to the type of person Dennis is.”

Newell said with Dieser’s retirement, the Albert Lea Family Y Executive Board felt it was critical that the Albert Lea Family YMCA maintains these principles and values during the transition to a new director.

Newell stated he “feel[s] that Bruce Mielke, and the Forest City Family YMCA, not only share these traits, but with the similarities and synergies between the two there are new opportunities to explore in the next six months that give new optimism for the Albert Lea Family Y.”

Mielke has been the executive director and CEO of the Forest City Family YMCA in Forest City, Iowa, since 1996. He prides himself on being the daily leader of a cause-driven, community service organization, and he works hard at being the leader that encourages less said about what he can do and more about what we can do together, the release stated.

Along with his experience in overseeing annual operating budgets, coordinating annual support campaigns and leading multiple, successful capital improvement campaigns, he has also served as a member and leader of many community services organizations and accepts his responsibility in leaving the space we live in better shape than how we found it, the release continued.

The agreement provides leadership support to the Albert Lea YMCA throughout a transition phase, and reduces the risk for both YMCAs by providing access to sharing of additional staff members, services and suppliers — all while being able to assess the opportunity for a longer-term relationship. The management agreement also provides an opportunity for strategic collaboration between the associations that could extend beyond the initial agreement.

The release states both YMCAs are excited to see the additional opportunities that will arise from this agreement and look forward to what could come next. 

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.