TWIN FALLS — After 18 months without top leadership, the Magic Valley YMCA has a new chief executive officer.

Randy Wastradowski, from El Paso, Texas, started on the job Monday. He was a branch manager for the YMCA of El Paso for eight years.

Wastradowski, who has 27 years of experience with the YMCA, previously spent time as CEO of two YMCAs in Indiana.

He said Tuesday he was looking for an opportunity to become a CEO again in the western United States, near his hometown of Centralia, Wash.

He came across the opportunity to lead the Magic Valley YMCA in Twin Falls.

“I saw it as an opportunity to restart the YMCA in the community,” he said, including to rebrand and reorganize the nonprofit. “That’s really what I enjoy doing with YMCAs — just taking it to the next level and making it a real asset in the community.”

Wastradowski got his first YMCA job in 1990 in Fort Wayne, Ind., After working as a swim instructor, lifeguard and pool manager, he worked his way up at different YMCAs in Oregon, Washington and Indiana.

Wastradowski is taking over leadership of a nonprofit that’s recovering from financial problems that surfaced last year.

Board members discovered former CEO Gary Ettenger, who resigned in March 2016, misappropriated $693,000 in donations tied to specific projects.

A national parent group placed the local Y on probation. And the Idaho Attorney General’s Office wrapped up an investigation in September 2016, saying it has reason to believe the Y violated Idaho’s charitable trust laws.

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In October 2016, the Y closed its Canyon Rim branch on Pole Line Road and sold the property. Employees and services for members were consolidated to the Elizabeth Boulevard branch.

And due to financial struggles, the Y backed out of its contract this spring to manage the city pool on Locust Street. The city was paying the nonprofit $120,000 each year to manage the pool and the contract was slated to continue until August 2018.

But the Y has celebrated some new program and facility changes: It reopened its pool in April at the Elizabeth Boulevard branch, and started a new preschool and after-school program earlier this month.

Wastradowski said Tuesday first thing he wants to address is staff development — “training staff and getting employees more engaged with the members.”

That includes learning stronger customer service skills, he said, and giving employees access to training to allow them to work more efficiently and have a greater impact.

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