A picture of Mary Stonor Saunders
Jul 3, 2024

Mary Stonor Saunders Appointed Executive Director of Lake View YMCA

CHICAGO, IL, July 2, 2024 — The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago is pleased to announce the appointment of Mary Stonor Saunders as Executive Director of the Lake View YMCA. In this role, Stonor Saunders is responsible for leading the Lake View Y’s growth and engagement in the community, delivering tailored and informed community-based programming and services, and developing community-focused initiatives and outreach strategies that promote the Y’s mission.  

“We are thrilled to welcome Mary as the new Executive Director of the Lake View YMCA,” said Ed Heiser, Vice President of Community Impact & Operations, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. “Mary’s passion for community engagement and visionary leadership are keystones that will fortify our commitment to strengthening communities by connecting all people to their purpose, potential, and each other.”  

Stonor Saunders joins the YMCA with more than 25 years of experience in community and civic engagement, fundraising, and program development. Most recently, she served as Policy and Outreach Director for Common Cause Illinois and led nonpartisan policy legislative and public education initiatives. Stonor Saunders has also served as the inaugural Executive Director of Strides for Peace and Director of Strategy and Development for BUILD Chicago, among other positions throughout her career.  

“I am thrilled to join the YMCA of Metro Chicago community and am grateful for the opportunity to lead the Lake View YMCA, which stands as a beacon of belonging, wellbeing, and possibility,” said Stonor Saunders. “We’re excited to partner with the community to enhance the lives of both our members and our neighbors by fostering an environment where everyone can thrive and contribute to a shared vision of a healthier, more connected Chicago.”  

Stonor Saunders is a graduate of Kenyon College and earned a master’s degree in Social Service Administration in Health Administration and Policy from the University of Chicago. Stonor Saunders succeeds Karen Dziagwa, who assumed a new role as Executive Director, Housing, for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.  


About the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago 
The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago is the leader in accessible, inclusive programming for more than 300,000 individuals each year, strengthening community by connecting all people to their purpose, potential, and each other. The YMCA of Metro Chicago is evolving to become a 21st-century social enterprise for the region, through an association of 14 community hubs, 5 overnight camps, and 100 extension sites throughout Chicagoland and the Midwest. Learn more about the Y's locations and programming at ymcachicago.org.  


Katy Broom 
Director, Marketing & Communications 
YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago 
[email protected]