Our Staff

Our staff is dedicated to our mission: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

We are committed to strengthening community – the community of Grand Island and Hall County and the communities that have developed within our walls. From our child care families to our senior chair yoga classmates, from swim team members to boot campers, our community supports, helps, and encourages each other. Our staff is committed to helping each person achieve their health, wellness, recreation, or child care needs. We welcome everyone to become part of the Grand Island YMCA community.

Charles Hansen
  • CEO

I am an African-second-generation-American and the first in my family to go to college. I’m attending grad school and hopefully I will soon start my doctorate. Some adjectives that I’ve been told best describe me are genuine, loyal, funny, and passionate.

Experience: I recently served as executive director at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club in Irving, Texas, where I was responsible for the growth of the program, including budgeting, program ideas and fundraising. I have previous experience in leading YMCA in several roles including child care program at the Grand Prairie YMCA in Texas.

Hobbies: Outside of work I have a passion for fitness as I’m a qualified Olympic lifter.

AJ Farrand
  • Membership Director / Personal Trainer

Qualifications: I graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a Bachelors’ of Science in Athletic Training in 2016.

Experience: I have been working at the YMCA in some capacity since graduating college in 2016. I have worked as a Personal Trainer, a Wellness Coordinator, and a Health and Wellness Coordinator. Before that I spent countless hours as a student Athletic Trainer at Nebraska Wesleyan as well as being a member of the Track and Field team.

Hobbies and Interests: I love to spend time with my wife Jordan and daughter Naomi. Aside from that I love to exercise and learn about overall wellness and incorporate it into my life.

Scott Ross
  • Sports Director

Qualifications: I have completed a couple years of college education, and am currently back in school to receive my bachelor’s degree. I have coached various levels of sports from youth to the high school level.

Hobbies and Interests: Spending time with family and friends. Enjoy playing, watching, coaching, and officiating sports. I also enjoy taking my Chocolate lab, Wrigley, to the lake.

Movies: Bull Durham, Remember the Titans, and any of the Avengers movies.

Book: The Bleachers, John Grisham

Quotes: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” – Tim Notke

Sarah Grigsby
  • Child Development Center Director
Melanie Horky
  • Aquatic Director

With the Y: Starting in first grade, I came to the Grand Island YMCA every day after school because my mom was working at the Y. When I was 4 years old, my parents saw me jump off the high diving board and dog paddle to the side. They put me in swim lessons at the YMCA. That began my love of swimming. I swam competitively for the Grand Island YMCA swim team and for Grand Island Senior High. I was able to win 3 events at the Nebraska State Swimming and Diving Championships. I was fortunate to receive a swimming scholarship to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I was an “All Big 8 Selection” in 3 events.

Qualifications: Even though education was my field of study in college, I went into YMCA work after graduating from college. Growing up at the YMCA, it became part of my soul. I spent 12 years working in Beatrice, Nebraska, Rapid City, South Dakota, and Grand Island. I left the YMCA to try other endeavors but returned to the Grand Island YMCA in January of 2008.

Hobbies & Interests: I love the beach. My family likes to travel so usually during the winter we take a trip to a tropical destination like the Caribbean or Mexico. There is nothing better than sun, sand, and the ocean!

Favorite Quotes: “Today is a day that you never had before. Today is a day that you will never have again.” “Thank you, Lord, for thinking about me. I’m alive and doing fine.”

Les Rouse
  • Facility Director

With the Y: 5 years

Experience: I’ve worked as a handyman since I was a kid. In recent years I worked with my dad in the remodeling business, doing carpentry, plumbing and electrical work. I’ve also worked as a mechanic.

Hobbies and Interests: Work is my hobby, but I also like to garden and take care of Midnight, a Lab-German Shepard mix.

Mary Hollowell
  • Marketing Director

With the Y Since 1999

Experience: I started as a part-time secretary, then became a full-time secretary, Arts & Humanities & Active Older Adult Coordinator, and then Communication Coordinator before becoming Marketing Director in 2013.

Qualifications: Some of my YMCA Certifications include Active Older Adult Program Director, Membership by Design, Starting & Improving Arts Programs, Writer’s Voice, Group Work, and Introduction to Volunteerism

Hobbies & Interests: Spending time with my three kids and six grandkids, family history, writing, quilting, gardening

Movies, Books and Favorite Authors: Almost any British movie or TV show; Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit; Kent Haruf, Willa Cather, Jane Austen, T.S. Eliot

Cara Lemburg
  • Race Series Co-Director & Personal Trainer

With the Grand Island Y since 2003

I hold an MSE in Clinical Exercise Physiology from Wayne State College – NE. I am certified in BODYPUMP®, BODYATTACK®, BODYVIVE®, BODYFLOW®, CXWORX® and the LES MILLS GRIT SERIES®. I am also SilverSneakers, TRX and NSCA CPT Certified and am a trainer for the Y of the USA in Pilates and Foundations of Group Exercise, as well as Faculty for P.O.O.L. I have been in the fitness industry for since 1994. I served as Senior Program Director for the Grand Island YMCA from 2003 through 2013 and have since served as the Community Outreach Coordinator as well as a fitness instructor and personal trainer.

Tonya Waldmann
  • Child Care Assistant Director
Sarah Wade
  • Business Manager

Qualifications: I am certified in QuickBooks and have experience as a bookkeeper for my father’s solar company and also doing seasonal work for Douglas Bookkeeping.

Accomplishments: I received a 700 hour Certificate in Message Therapy from the Colorado School of Healing Arts in the fall of 2008.

Family: Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband Kyle and children Vayda, Presley, and Hattie Mae. We attend Third City Christian Church where we volunteer. I also volunteer as a youth softball coach for Vayda’s softball team.

Hobbies and Interests: Always an exercise enthusiast, I pursued my dream of becoming a fitness instructor. I am a certified cycling instructor through Les Mills RPM. I am also certified in Silver Sneakers and LesMills Body Flow. I enjoy teaching these classes at the YMCA.

YMCA: In 2018 I accepted my role with the YMCA as the Business Manager. I handle accounts payable/receivable, payroll, and financial statements.

Adriana Lopez
  • Human Resources Specialist

Experience: I was the Assistant Director at the Grand Island Crisis Center, where I was responsible for accounts payable, payroll, staff development, leadership, new hire on boarding process, and much more.

Qualifications: I have attended many trainings that have enriched my knowledge as the Human Resources Specialist work area, such as:

Central Community College – Human Services Associates Degree in progress.
Mental Health First Aid USA Certification – October 2017 – October 2020
Staff Development and Leadership Training- March 2017
Human Trafficking Conference – November 2018

Hobbies and Interests: I enjoy being involved and helping out with non-profit community fundraisers. I also love traveling to a new place, getting to know different cultures or new fishing locations, no matter if it is a different state, country, or a 30 minute drive.

Movies: All Marvel Movies.

Favorite Quotes: “Do not let a bad experience ruin your fun-loving spirit.”

Teresa Sinner
  • Business Desk Manager

With the Y since 2002

Experience: I started my involvement with the Grand Island YMCA in 2002 when I started working in Child Watch. In 2003 I became Child Watch Coordinator. I worked as assistant summer camp director in 2004. I became the Business Desk Manager in 2013.

Qualifications: I’m a mother of two teenage girls. Enough Said!

Hobbies: I enjoy reading, fishing, archery, and painting

Favorite Authors: Dan Brown, Amanda Hocking, Suzanne Collins