George I. Theisen Family YMCA hires John Derwent as its new executive director

John Derwent

GREENVILLE, S.C. – The YMCA of Greenville today announced that John Derwent has been chosen to lead the YMCA of Greenville’s George I. Theisen Family YMCA branch in Travelers Rest as its executive director. In this role, Derwent is responsible for the branch’s strategic initiatives, representing and promoting the YMCA of Greenville’s mission and brand to the local community, and overseeing branch operations, including membership, marketing, programs, facilities, volunteer and staff development, financial development, community relations and collaborations with other community agencies.

Derwent, a seasoned YMCA leader, has served in different roles at YMCA associations across South Carolina and Maryland for more than eight years. Most recently, he served as vice president for the Foothills Area YMCA in Seneca, SC.

On joining the George I. Theisen Family YMCA, Derwent says he was drawn to the position by the great staff and the Y’s potential for growth to serve even more individuals and families than they already are. Currently, the George I. Theisen Family YMCA offers after school care and child watch, summer day camps, group exercise, personal training, and youth sports.

“I have a vision for where I want this Y to be in five years, and I’m ready for the challenge,” says Derwent. “Our branch is in the middle of a rapidly growing community, and growth always brings new opportunities. I’m excited to empower our team on how to best serve these ever-expanding needs.”

“We’re thrilled to have John at the helm of our George I. Theisen Family branch,” says Scot Badley, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greenville. “The leadership and successes he’s demonstrated at other YMCA associations makes him an excellent fit for our association, and I’m excited to see what he and his team will accomplish for the Northern Greenville and Travelers Rest communities.”

Derwent graduated from the University of Maryland in College Park, MD and holds several YMCA leadership certifications and awards, including the YMCA USA Team Leader and Multi-Team Leader certification. Derwent was selected for the YMCA of Maryland Executive Board mentee program and held a board position with the Maryland Association for Parkinson’s Support. Derwent also holds his aquatic facility operator license and was a youth lacrosse and Special Olympics volunteer in Maryland until his relocation to South Carolina in 2019.

The YMCA of Greenville is a cause-driven non-profit organization. Our mission is, following the example of Christ, to build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves the health and well-being on our community and provides opportunities to give back and help support our neighbors. Founded in 1976, the Y serves more than 70,000 people annually though programs that include afterschool care, resident and day camps, aquatics, youth and adult sports, and health and wellness. Programs are offered through four family branches, as well as the Verdae YMCA, Y Camp Greenville, YMCA Judson Community Center, the YMCA Program Center, and Hollingsworth Outdoor Center. The Y is also home to Y Teen Services and the SC Youth in Government programs.

For more information about the YMCA of Greenville, visit, or call (864) 412-0288.

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