The YMCA of Southwest Kansas has recently announced the hire of two directors.

Sarah Waller, who began her duties on July 17, has been named the Marketing and Communications Director and her position will cover both the Garden City and Dodge City branches of the association.

A native of Great Bend, Waller studied public relations and leadership at Fort Hays State University. She graduated from FHSU in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, and moved to southwest Kansas shortly after. She has worked in advertising and marketing roles for the past 10 years, including contracted marketing services for the Southwest Kansas YMCA.

Waller lives in Garden City with her husband of nine years, USD 457 teacher and coach Jacob Waller, and their two sons, ages seven and four.

In a press release from the YMCA, Waller said she is excited to be a part of the YMCA family.

“I see a lot of potential for improved communication with our members and with the community,” Waller said in the release. “This is a very active organization with a strong Christian mission, and I look forward to helping telling our story.”

Chad Knight, CEO of the YMCA of Southwest Kansas said in the release the organization is excited to have Waller as part of the team.

“With her vast knowledge and experience we believe she’ll make a huge impact on our association,” Knight said. “This is a position that is very vital to our success and I’m glad we have Sarah in charge of it.”

Doug Dillingham was was recently named the executive director of the Garden City branch. He will relieve Knight of his roles within the local branch. Knight will continue to serve as CEO with a primary focus on fundraising and development for both the Garden City and Dodge City branches.

According to Knight, Dillingham’s extensive experience in recreation and wellness, and his high standards of achievement, were among the deciding factors for the hiring decision.

“Doug brings a wealth of experience in wellness activities and has extensive knowledge in the field,” Knight said. “He has worked for the YMCA previously part time and wanted to make a change in his career. He felt the YMCA was good for his aspirations. We are excited to have Doug on our team.”

Dillingham is a native of Holcomb, and a graduate of Fort Hays State University. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance from FHSU in 2005. Since then, he has served as wellness coordinator for the Garden City Recreation Commission and as a claims adjuster with Farm Bureau Financial Services. 

Dillingham lives in Garden City with his wife of seven years, Garden City Community College Residential Life Director Christine Dillingham, and their two children, ages six and three.

“I’m thrilled to be back in the health and wellness field,” Dillingham said. “The YMCA is a great organization with strong programs and a lot of potential. I look forward to leading the staff in carrying out our mission and ultimately strengthening what we can offer to the community.”

Both Waller and Dillingham can be contacted at the Garden City Family YMCA at (620) 275-1199. Waller can be emailed at swaller@ymcaswkansas.org and Dillingham can be reached at ddillingham@ymcaswkansas.org.