Gwen Ruppert has been hired as the Business Manager for the YMCA of the Prairie association. Previously, she worked as the Membership Director for the Hastings Family YMCA for 12 years.
“I am proud to be the new Business Manager serving the YMCA of the Prairie and directing all aspects of membership of the Don Sjogren Community YMCA,” Gwen said. “Everyone that I have met in the Holdrege community and in my new environment has been so welcoming, and I am ecstatic to have this opportunity to find my niche in this awesome little town that seems to always smile back.”
Gwen moved several times during her childhood as her dad served in the Air Force. Her family lived in Okinawa, Japan, when she was born. She graduated from high school in Corpus Christi, Texas, and she studied sociology at the University of Texas in San Antonio. Her husband, Fane, had lived in Hastings for a time while growing up, and they decided to move to Hastings in 1999. Gwen started her Y mission as a volunteer preschool teacher in Hastings in 2003, which then evolved into the full-time membership job.
When Gwen first started work in Holdrege, she was commuting from Hastings.
“I now share an apartment on weekdays with my son, Blaine, age 25, who obtained a salesman job at Janssen Auto,” she said. “I return to Hastings on weekends to be with my husband who works at Hastings Manufacturing Dutton Lainson and my 17-year-old son, Brandt, who will be a high school senior in the fall.
In her role as Business Manager, Gwen serves as a liaison for all three branches (Don Sjogren, Orthman Community and YMCA at Gothenburg Health) and manages all financial transactions including accounts receivable and payable, reconciliation of daily deposits and accounts, budgeting, strategic planning, human resource tasks including processing payroll, along with membership enhancement and supervising the front desk staff at the Don Sjogren YMCA.
“I plan on being very busy, but never too busy to encourage those around me at the Y,” Gwen said. “I strive to be a great cheerleader for all ages and enjoy being in the YMCA atmosphere and would like for everyone else to feel the same. I am committed to strengthening my community with the collective teamwork of the Y.”
Before work, Gwen enjoys swimming at the Y, and after work she enjoys road trips and traveling across the United States. In Hastings, she was President of Kiwanis Service Club and Sr. Youth Leader of Peace Lutheran Church.
“I look forward to the many possibilities and volunteer opportunities that Holdrege has to offer once I am settled in my new role,” Gwen said. “I am grateful for all those who have helped me to be the person I am today and look forward to engaging in new conversations and building new relationships with those I have the privilege of sharing life with. Thank you for making me feel like I belong.”