Larry Hall retires as YMCA CEO

It is with mixed emotions that YMCA of the Foothills CEO Larry Hall will move his family to the Seattle area in the next few weeks, he said in an interview shortly after announcing his retirement last Thursday.

“There are a lot of giving people in these communities. Working with so many great leaders in the community has been a great experience I won't forget,” Hall said.

Hall was honored at a retirement luncheon last week and gathered again Monday afternoon with a group of friends, co-workers and family members at the Crescenta-Cañada Y for a less formal retirement party.

“Larry will be missed, but I think it's neat he can go back home [to Washington] and spend time with his daughter, being 'Mr. Mom,' ” said Kim Beattie, YMCA director of communications and public relations.

Hall said he plans to enjoy his retirement taking care of his 10-year-old daughter, Alexa while his wife, Anne Niggemeyer, restarts a career as a psychologist. She left that career after giving birth to their daughter.

Niggemeyer grew up in Spokane, Wash., and received her license as a psychologist at Seattle Pacific University. Because there are different licensing requirements in California, she never practiced during the time the family has lived here.

Hall is originally from Dallas. He earned his graduate degrees in psychology and education from Ohio University. He and his family lived in the Seattle area before moving to California.

Alexa Hall recently completed the fourth-grade at Monte Vista Elementary School in La Crescenta. Although she will miss her friends here, she's looking forward to moving back to the Northwest.

“I have cousins there,” she said, adding, “And we lived there when I was little.”

She also will miss La Cañada's YMCA. “The Y [in the Seattle area] near us is really small and they're only just starting to build a pool,” she said.

Larry Hall also said he will miss the community and the YMCA. The local Y has “overcome a lot of difficult challenges” during his seven-year tenure, he said.

“We had the worker's compensation insurance fiasco that was like a cold shower when I first got here,” he said, adding, “How do you just walk into something like that?”

After those initial months of trial by fire, Hall pushed forward with several major projects, all of which were “finished on time and on budget.”

Beattie agreed that a lot has been accomplished with Hall at the helm of the YMCA of the Foothills.

“Under his leadership, we remodeled the Verdugo Hills YMCA and built a new teen center, gymnasium and community room there. There also is a gathering room for the seniors. It was a huge project, but, it is amazing,” she said, adding, “He also helped us arrange buying the east parking lot [at the La Cañada location]. Larry has a done a great job and he has set us in good standing. Financially, he's done a great job watching the money and finding money for plans so when projects and emergencies came up we were always prepared.”

A YMCA board search committee began the process last week of finding a replacement for Hall. Board Chair Sam Longo, Jr., announced last week that a new CEO is expected to be in place within the next three months.

In the interim, Kirk Dawson, a 15-year board member and former board chair, will serve during the nation-wide search and until a successor can be named.

Dawson retired in 2001 as associate director of Jet Propulsion Laboratory and has lived in La Cañada for 39 years. Dawson also served as interim CEO at the YMCA, seven years ago, prior to the selection of Hall.

Dawson said he's impressed with all Hall has managed to accomplish, as well as his fiscal leadership and standing in the community.

“Larry gets high marks from all the members,” Dawson said, adding, “He's done a great job and has really done amazing things.”

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