Each year, the Greater Marco Family YMCA salutes two people for outstanding contributions.
They are singled out for recognition by the island’s long-serving non-profit organization.
They are the Volunteer of the Year and the Employee of the Year, and this time around the honorees were Jean Shaw and Mark Schmitz respectively.
Shaw is a prolific volunteer, a woman who essentially coordinates and leads other volunteers; and Schmitz monitors and controls a vital part of any organization – its finances.
Shaw and Schmitz were honored at a recent function.
Shaw, who has two decades of selfless service to the Y, actually received an award that carries her own name – the Jean Shaw Award for volunteer of the year.
“I was very honored,” Shaw said this week, “but it isn’t just me. There are so many more people involved. It takes a lot of volunteers to run the events.”
Shaw rates the annual golf tournament and the upcoming Taste of Marco (Sunday, April 28 at the Esplanade) as her two biggest commitments.
Both take at least six months of planning, she said, adding she has no plans of quitting or even slowing down.
“Oh yeah,” she said. “I’ll be doing it as long as I can.”
Schmitz has been the Y’s finance director since late 2017, having previously worked in similar capacities in Philadelphia.
“A big adjustment for me was coming from a for profit environment to a non-profit environment,” Schmitz said. “It’s exciting getting different accounting exposure.”
Among his responsibilities are managing accounting, general ledger maintenance, monitoring revenue and expenses accordingly, and also general revenue functions related to memberships, programs, fundraising and special events.
He reports to the finance committee monthly with the results of these operations, he said.
Like Shaw, Schmitz was pleased with the award.
“They surprised me at the volunteer luncheon,” he said. “It was an honor. It felt good that my work is appreciated. It’s like a verification, coming into a new environment with a lot of unknowns. You don’t quite know what you’re being compared to, or what your predecessors did.”
Cindy Love, the Y’s CEO, said both awards were well earned.
“Mark started in the middle of a hurricane (Irma),” she said. “At the time, there were five of us working out of one room. He was able to stick it out.
“He is dedicated and wants to do a perfect job,” Love said. “That’s why he’s a good team member. He knows his stuff and he gets along with everybody.”
It was more than fitting, Love said, that Jean Shaw received the award named after her.
“Former president Skip Merriam (2010) created the award because she put so many hours in,” Love said. “There was a time we were doing a sports fest, and she would fly in from Chicago for a couple of weeks to volunteer and help organize.”
For more on the Y’s wide variety of programs and activities for adults and children, visit marcoymca.org or call 394-YMCA (9622). Follow on Twitter at ymcamarco; on Facebook @marcoymca, and Instagram at ymcamarco.