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New branch director reared in YMCA
0918 YMCA director
David Holcomb, director of the Liberty County/Armed Services Branch, YMCA of Coastal Georgia, left, consults with membership director Josette Gordon and ASPYN (Army School-age Programs in Your Neighborhood) director Angel Gay. - photo by Denise Etheridge

David Holcomb has served as director for the Liberty County/Armed Services Branch, YMCA of Coastal Georgia for just one month, but he has been involved with the YMCA for most of his 39 years.

"David brings a wealth of experience to the YMCA on a variety of levels," said Joel Smoker, YMCA of Coastal Georgia vice president of operations. "He had what it took to come into this community and help the Liberty County/Armed Services Branch, YMCA of Coastal Georgia reach its next

"He also was looking for a small community that resembled his hometown in (Dayton,) Tennessee."

"I grew up in the YMCA," Holcomb said. "The YMCA is in my heart. It’s a part of who I am."

Holcomb said the YMCA helped stabilize his life during a period of family turmoil when he was a young boy by instilling in him positive values and keeping him grounded. As a youth, he was a missionary for the YMCA in Brazil.

"I worked with street children," Holcomb said. "I learned much more than I ever gave."

Holcomb also is an athlete. He has trained in martial arts for 30 years and has earned a fifth-degree black belt.

Holcomb said he was a competitive gymnast in school and played tennis under the U.S. Tennis Association.

The YMCA’s branch director has a bachelor’s degree in Russian history from Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn. Later, Holcomb joined the YMCA staff in St. Louis, Mo., where he worked his way up for seven years.

When he stepped away to pursue a career as a market analyst for an investment guru, he volunteered as a YMCA board member for eight years.

Holcomb said having worked and volunteered for the YMCA has given him a two-sided approach to his job as a branch director and enables him to understand the viewpoints of board members and employees.

He said he and his staff will strive to make people feel special so members can relax when they walk through the YMCA doors.

The focus of the Liberty County branch — being an Armed Services branch — is to provide military families support, he explained.

Holcomb listed the branch’s four main initiatives: engaging its members, strengthening the local community, fostering a culture of giving — meaning no one is turned away because of an inability to pay fees — and promoting healthy living.

The YMCA branch director said he also hopes to collaborate with Liberty Regional Medical Center and local not-for-profit organizations to provide programming and support to smaller communities outside of Liberty County.

Holcomb said he intends to enhance existing programs and wants to promote the YMCA’s high- and low-ropes course to businesses and local governments.

This type of corporate training is meant to help organizations improve communication among personnel, he said.

Holcomb has been married for 15 years. He and his wife, Diana, have two children, Isabella, 7, and Anastasia, 6.

The local YMCA offers such activities as fall soccer, swimming, holiday camps, after-school programs, scuba classes, military outreach and youth programs. Hours of operation are 5 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call 368-9622 or go to

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