The new Pekin Young Women’s Christian Association director is looking to expand outreach programs like swimming and art classes and to more efficiently use the YWCA’s available space to introduce and expand programs.

Diane Broe recently brought her experience in human resources to the Pekin YWCA, where she has taken the position as the center’s director. Broe replaced interim Pekin YWCA Director Terri Gambetti last August. Gambetti was serving in a temporary capacity after long-time director Melinda Figge accepted a human resources position at Morton Community Bank last June. 

One of Broe’s primary goals is to expand the YWCA’s community outreach. The YWCA has hired retired Pekin Community High School teacher Maureen Naughtin as community outreach director and introduced a two-day pilot program that offered activities like swimming, art classes, and reading to local children. She also wants to more efficiently use the YWCA’s available space to offer the community more activities, introduce new fitness programs, and expand the YWCA’s aquatic fitness and adult literacy program, introducing it at libraries throughout Tazewell County. 

“We’re taking our adult literacy program, expanding it beyond just the YWCA building and taking it to libraries throughout Tazewell County,” said Broe. “I’m very excited about what can be done to further our mission.”

According to Pekin YWCA Finance and Operations Director Michelle Vladova, Broe has already begun to beneficially impact the facility’s operations by streamlining administrative processes, another one of her main goals.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how those changes are going to positively impact the YWCA in the future,” said Vladova. “Being efficient with our processes helps us be more fiscally smart. So, we’ll be able to support more community projects and serve the community better.”

Broe worked as a business manager at the Antioch Group in Peoria for over 11 years before deciding to work in non-profit organizations. From 2011 to 2013, she worked as finances and human resources director at Neighborhood House in Peoria. When the organization split the two positions, she worked as HR director until last August to take the Pekin YWCA director position.

“A friend had told me about the opening, felt like it was a good fit for me, and encouraged me to apply,” said Broe. “I am passionate about what the YWCA stands for, and I am excited to take us into the next decades.”

Broe appears to have brought not only HR experience, but also energy and empathy to her new position. 

“She sets a pretty fast pace,” Vladova said. “She is always ready to listen to us and she’s always supportive. I came here from the St. Louis area about six months ago, and she helped me adjust to the relocation. She gives us the tools we need to do our jobs.”