When Paul Thein decided to reposition his career out of higher learning, he thought the YMCA would benefit from his education in athletic administration and management, as well as his background in fundraising and developing youth and community. The Minnesota native signed on as CEO of a flagging 110-year-old YMCA in Waycross, Georgia, where he led a turnaround that tripled membership and doubled revenues. Serendipitously, he then got a call from the national YMCA asking if he was interested in a job in Naples—a place where his parents and other family have lived part-time for four decades. Six months after he joined as president and CEO of the Greater Naples YMCA in 2013, he oversaw the rebuilding and renovation of the YMCA’s facility following a serious fire that caused extensive damage. Under his leadership, membership has doubled and plans are in the works for two satellite locations in Collier County. Thein’s honors include the Outstanding Service to Community Award 2014-2015 by Rotary Club of Naples Bay and being named a Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellow. Thein is most proud, though, of his family: wife Shanon, son Brody, 8, and daughter Shalyn, 12.
“AS THE LEADER OF THE YMCA, I MEET WITH MY SMALL MANAGEMENT TEAM TWICE A WEEK AND EXERCISE. I WANT THAT TO BE THE ROUTINE, BECAUSE YOU’VE GOT TO LIVE THE MISSION, NOT JUST PREACH IT.”
Super-power wish: Limitless energy … so much to accomplish and so little time.
“Super” spot: My family and I love to boat, and we go to Keewaydin Island a lot.
Guilty pleasure: A cold beer on a hot day.
Bucket list: I would love to do an RV travel vacation across the country and make the kind of family memories for my kids that stick with me from my own childhood.