I am writing to you to announce the retirement of Lisa Aulisi our Vice-President of Youth Development effective February 11.
Thirty-nine and half years ago, at the Washington Street Y, Dawn McFadden had an interview with a college freshman for an aquatics position. The candidate showed up late, dressed in leather, and big ‘80s hair. So much hair that Dawn was not sure it would fit under a swim cap. Dawn decided to give her a shot anyway.
Over the years, that new hire, Lisa Aulisi, as a program director and Washington Street Y branch director, taught countless children how to swim at the Washington Street Y pool. Lisa delighted children in summer camp, created the birthday party program, snow camp, and Live Y’ers/Staycation. Most significantly, as Senior SACC Director, Lisa made the School Age Child Care program what it is today. Countless children had a safe place to be before and after school because of her efforts and dedication.
I do not use the word dedication lightly. In November of 2018, during a freak snowstorm, many children were stuck at their schools. Lisa took up a post in the main lobby at Park Street and worked the phones ensuring that each child in our Y’s care was accounted for and got home. The most difficult case, a young child in foster care whose foster parent lived in a different town, kept her at that desk until 10pm. Lisa would not leave until she confirmed the child was picked up and safe. Lisa always puts kids first.
In 2018, Lisa took on the role of Vice-President of Youth Development and assumed leadership of our entire camp program. At the start of the pandemic in 2020, Lisa created our emergency childcare program for health care professionals during a time when no one knew what was to come. Lisa knew that we had to be there for our healthcare workers so they could be there for us all. That summer, Lisa launched our Early Learning Center and in 2020 and 2021 she brought our camp program back, bringing joy and normalcy to our kids and parents.
Lisa also leaves a legacy of extraordinary staff development and retention. Her team, currently consisting of Shirley Farquharson (14 years), Kim Burrows (18 years), Marlon Pollard (21 years), and Rob Casale (22 years), is a testament to her leadership and the reason for our Y’s reputation for high standards in our programs.
On behalf of our Y thank you, Lisa, for your years of service to the children in the greater Montclair community.
President and CEO