Eric Cole is the new director of the Switzerland County YMCA

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Eric Cole of near Vevay is the new chief executive officer of the Switzerland County YMCA.

He is a 1987 graduate of Switzerland County High School, and also attended Purdue University — graduating from there in 1992. He is married to Lora Cole, and has two children — Mikhail and Shelby — who were adopted from Russia. Eric Cole says that his children were a very big factor in his decision to take the job at the YMCA.

Before taking the reigns of the Switzerland County YMCA, He was a branch manager at a co-op office in Versailles; and with the hours he worked and the drive back and forth, he was spending a lot of time away from home. He wanted to be able to be closer to home and spend more time with his family.

“I love my job. This has been the best three weeks ever,” Eric Cole said. “There are not too many jobs where you can have a water fight with the kids and then later sit down at your desk and get down to business.”

Being able to remain here in Switzerland County was also a big factor in his decision to pursue a new career path.

“I love giving back to the community that I grew up in,” he said. “This is one of the smallest communities in the country that has a YMCA. We have a lot of support from the community, the schools, Belterra and different grants have kept us supported.”

Although the Switzerland County YMCA serves a small community, Eric Cole sees big successes and has big plans when he surveys his new responsibilities.

“We have several programs going on like our ‘Shark’ program that involves younger children, and they are very competitive with other YMCA teams,” Eric Cole said. “We hope to eventually build a bigger swim team to involve the older children.”

With school not in session; summer is a big and busy time at the YMCA.

“There are lots of summer programs that are going on and being attended right now,” he said. “We also have plans to develop the seven acres outdoors — possibly making a group training course and getting more adults involved.”

The YMCA is making a lot of positive changes, and Eric Cole and his staff would like to encourage the community if they haven’t been there — or if it has been awhile — to come in and try out the YMCA again to see all the changes being made.

“We would also like to encourage any positive suggestions people would like to see or what kind of programs they would like to have in the future,” Eric Cole said. “Change is inevitable; but we would like for it to be positive. We are here to serve the community to the best of our abilities; the doors are open — come on in.”