10 Questions: Princeton YMCA CEO Kate Bech

Kate BlechKate Bech

CEO

Princeton Family YMCA

 

Where do you live?

Pennington, NJ

 

What is on your nightstand?

A comically large pile of New Yorker magazines.  I can’t seem to stay focused on novels these days, largely because of a lack of time.  I like to read the book review blurbs and imagine what I’ll read over my vacation.  I do my best to read the New York Times every morning (old school, in paper form).

 

Biggest Vice?

Chips and salsa.  If I could, I’d eat them for every meal.  I know better not to.

 

Favorite Social Media Hash Tag?

#Prettycluelessaboutitall

 

Ice cream flavor?

I’m pretty partial to peanut butter variations.

 

Favorite Day of the Week?

Oddly enough, Thursdays are often a good day for me.  I’m usually very productive on that day and it’s toward the end of the week so I feel I’ve accomplished a few things – and the weekend is just a day away!

Princeton’s biggest secret?

Sometimes I worry that Princeton residents don’t fully grasp the level of need here in town.  There are many children and families, our neighbors, whose lives are a constant struggle because of poverty and the many challenges associated with having too few resources.  I like to believe that in a town such as this, we have a shot at assuring that every child has the benefits of a solid education, for example.  But sometimes I’m not sure.

Favorite Season in Princeton?

Spring – I love gardening and in my opinion, it the most glorious time of year.

 

Most used expression?

“Fabulous.”  I suppose there are worse words I could overuse.

 

Never leave home without?

Phone car charger.

 

What is the inside scoop on the YMCA?

We have some of the nicest people in the world working and volunteering at the Y.  Many people underestimate the extraordinary bounty of social capital we have here: on any given day, you’ll experience what I call a crazy alchemy of personality, passion, caring, kindness and fun.  Whether it’s the bonds created in a group exercise class, the friendships made in the afterschool program, the joking and laughter among board members during a meeting (yes, there is a lot of smiling!), the people who come to our events and give generously and graciously, or the happy singing of five year olds in the corridor, there’s something wondrous about the Y.  It’s so much more than just a building with services: it’s a conduit for human connection and often, joy and love.