Meet the new Executive Director for the YMCA

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David Lawton was named new Executive Director of the YMCA. Courtesy Photo

MANCHESTER, NH – The Granite YMCA announced the appointment of Dave Lawton as the new Executive Director for the YMCA of Downtown Manchester.

Lawton will be primarily responsible for general branch and strategic operations, community development, and staff and member enrichment for the YMCA of Downtown Manchester. He will also be leading the final steps in the renovation of the new Center for Youth and Teen Leadership, which is set to be complete by the end of July.

“Dave’s YMCA career spans over 20 years and across four associations in the East,” said Michele Sheppard, COO for The Granite YMCA. “We are excited to welcome Dave and look forward to the leadership he will provide the Downtown branch, as well as his contribution to our leadership team at The Granite YMCA.”

Lawton joins the association from the YMCA of Greater Boston where he served as the Executive Director of the Thomas Menino branch for two years. Prior to his role as Executive Director, he held a number of leadership roles, serving as the Executive Director for Franklin County YMCA in Rocky Mount, VA, and Director of Operations for YMCA of South Hampton Roads in Norfolk, VA. Throughout his career, Lawton has managed major membership and retention growth, enhanced camping and child care programs, and conducted strong community outreach and annual giving campaigns.

“I have been part of the YMCA movement for much of my career and look forward to getting to know the Manchester community,” said Lawton. “With the Y located in the heart of Downtown Manchester, it really allows us to be tied into the heartbeat of the community where we can continue to work alongside our neighbors to strengthen our community through quality and impactful programs and services.”

Lawton holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities and Social Sciences from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. A father to three grown children and grandfather of five, Lawton and his wife reside in Arlington, Mass..

Lawton’s appointment was effective June 6, 2018.

About The Granite YMCA

As one of the state’s longest standing and most enduring non-profits, The Granite YMCA focuses on youth development, healthy living, social responsibility, and family strengthening. Across the state, its six branches engage 30,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to improve their health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In 2017, The Granite YMCA provided financial assistance and free services valued at over $1.63 million to 20,190 individuals. To learn more, please visit