Kirk Eich. CEO of YMCA of West Central Florida since 2013, has resigned to take over as chief executive of YMCA of Upper Palmetto in Rock Hill, S.C.

Alice Collins, who worked with the local YMCA organization for 37 years and preceded Eich as its head, has been named interim CEO as the group’s board of directors pursues a nationwide search for a new director.

Eich has worked in the YMCA community for 30 years, coming to Lakeland from Athens, Ga.

“Under Kirk’s guidance, the YMCA of West Central Florida has grown its community partnerships and has opened new channels for many members of our community to gain access to all that our organization offers within our five Polk County YMCA branches,” the local organization said in a news release. 

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the communities in Polk County over the last six and a half years. I have been afforded the opportunity to work with a dedicated and caring group of staff, volunteers, and community stakeholders and I have no doubt that my replacement will embody the ideals that the YMCA holds dear,” Eich said.

“I am grateful for Kirk’s leadership and commitment to our community over the years. Kirk and his family are important members of our YMCA community. We thank him for his service and wish him the best,” said Matt Green, chairman of the board at the YMCA of West Central Florida. 

Upper Palmetto YMCA serves more than a dozen sites and 46,000 members in York, Lancaster and Chester counties in South Carolina.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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