Cathi Duchon began her career at the Rockford, Illinois YMCA, where she was a part-time swim instructor. In 1974, after two years in Rockford, she applied for a position with the Young Professionals Abroad, which placed young YMCA staff at international YMCAs. For the next two years, Duchon taught English and swimming at the Hong Kong YMCA. This international experience opened her eyes to the prospect that the YMCA could be more than just a job. After her time in Hong Kong, she returned to the United States and spent the next 13 years with the Houston YMCA. Ms. Duchon thrived in Houston, where she became the association’s first female branch executive. From Houston, she traveled to Dayton, Ohio, where she served as the vice president of operations. Ms. Duchon ended her YMCA career at the Ann Arbor YMCA, where she served as CEO for 20 years.
Ms. Duchon’s tenure at Ann Arbor YMCA was quite remarkable. From 1961 to 1993, the Ann Arbor YMCA had ceased to affiliate itself with the larger YMCA Movement. She leveraged her career experience, orchestrating a profound turnaround of the association. She ensured that Ann Arbor YMCA rejoined the YMCA Movement and instituted YMCA best practices, including eliminating the association’s sizable debt and making a substantial investment in staff development and training. As a result of her leadership and stewardship, Ann Arbor YMCA is one of the strongest YMCAs in the country and is recognized by the Movement as a leader in strengthening communities.
Community and Board Service
In addition to her YMCA career, Ms. Duchon has remained active in her communities by serving on the YMCA of the USA National Board, International Group as chair of the Global Legacy Committee, Youth Volunteer Corps National Board, committee member of the AAACF Legacy Fund (Community Foundation), member and treasurer of the Ann Arbor Thrift shop and member of the Texas Association of Certified Public Accountants. Ms. Duchon was a former member of the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital.
Ms. Duchon received a bachelor of science degree in physical education from the University of Illinois (1971) and a MBA from the University of Houston (1984). Ms. Duchon also attended the London School of Economics and is a certified public accountant from the state of Texas
‟...so many fail because they don't ask for help.”
‟...all of it under the umbrella of doing good.”
‟They want to do something meaningful.”
‟... it's like go for it.”
Assistant Program Director, Rockford YMCA, IL
1974 Physical Director, YMCA of Hong Kong, China
1976 Physical Director, Branch Executive and Metro Director of Program Development, YMCA of Greater Houston, TX
1989 Vice President of Operations, YMCA of Greater Dayton, OH
1996 President and CEO, Ann Arbor YMCA, MI