Dr. Jared Beard

Jared Beard is an activist for the global Y movement with a cause to strengthen the foundation of community. His first interaction with the Y was as a child learning to swim at the Newton Family YMCA (IA). Throughout his life, the Y served as a place to develop character, leadership and teamwork. 

Jared is visible in the community and has positioned the YMCA as a preferred community partner. In the past, he has served on multiple volunteer boards including Get Up & Go!, Salvation Army and the Belleville Chamber of Commerce. Jared has also led health policy work for the YMCA that has collectively generated over $1.5M for the Metro East through local partnerships and coalitions. The funding has fueled county-wide health improvement through complete streets agreements, coordinated school health and the annual health policy summit. 

Jared has also led efforts to expand the Y’s impact through strategic partnerships. As the CEO of the YMCA of Southwest Illinois, Jared was instrumental in adding two additional branches through a hospital partnership and the integration of a neighboring independent YMCA. In 2015, Jared worked directly with volunteers and staff on the final phase of a strategic alliance combining the YMCA of Southwest Illinois and the YMCA of Greater St. Louis to form the Gateway Region YMCA. The newly formed nonprofit organization serves more than 730,000 individuals across 13 diverse counties in Missouri and Illinois. 

Jared holds a CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive) credential, a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science, a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management and a PhD in Human Services, with a specialization in Nonprofit Management.

  Jared Beard

Jared currently serves as the Executive Vice President and COO of the Gateway Region YMCA. Jared has made the Y mission his own and has a vision to improve social equity across the St. Louis region.