Chattanooga YMCA president/CEO reflects on what sets the local fitness institution apart from all others

Photo contributed by Bryan Oster / Baron Herdelin-Doherty is president and chief executive officer for YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga.

Baron Herdelin-Doherty is inextricably linked to the YMCA. He started nearly 40 years ago working as a fitness instructor and manager in Mobile, Alabama, and met his wife at a Y in Nashville 26 years ago.

He's served in different leadership capacities at YMCAs in California, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, New York, Alabama and now Chattanooga.

Last September, Herdelin-Doherty was named president/ CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga. The Auburn graduate succeeded retired president/ CEO Janet Dunn.

Before coming to Chattanooga, the Alabama native served as president/CEO of the YMCA of San Diego County and oversaw a $240 million organization featuring 18 branches, three resident camps and 147 after-school sites. His duties included supervising a staff of 5,500 and serving 480,000 individuals annually. During his 11-year tenure, Herdelin-Doherty increased the budget by $105 million, brought in 17,000 new members and opened six branches.