Steve Tamarro’s role as CEO and President of the YMCA of the Inland Northwest has been 44 years in the making. Steve’s first job at the Y was during his freshman year in college, serving as a summer day camp counselor in his hometown of Boston, Mass. His role at the Y grew over the next few years, working at the front desk and as a youth leader, eventually becoming a membership and marketing director after graduation from Suffolk University. It was in that role that Steve says he began to see and understand the greater impact the Y has on a community.
Through the years Steve would take on larger roles at other YMCA’s throughout the country. After starting in Boston, he moved to Rochester, N.Y., Nashville, Tenn., and Denver, Colo., before arriving in Spokane seven years ago.
Steve recalls his first few weeks in the Inland Northwest and the genuine welcoming nature that many provided making not only himself, but his family, feel right at home. “On the streets of Boston somebody can say ‘How are you doing?’ but they don’t really care,” Steve joked. “Here in Spokane, if somebody asks you that it’s because they are truly interested. They care about you and want to know about your life.”
The friendly faces and smiles are not all that stood out to Steve about the Inland Northwest. “I have never worked in a community so willing to collaborate to solve problems,” Steve says. The non-profits, government agencies, and volunteers around Spokane are what Steve says gives the YMCA a great opportunity to help the most people possible in the area.
As the CEO, Steve says his main duties include driving the strategic direction of the organization, helping train and support leaders and staff, as well as being the chief storyteller of the Y in the community. “I have so many great opportunities to go around our area and share all the wonderful things we are doing for so many in our community.”
When asked what keeps him at the Y after 44 years, Steve says it’s simple. “I can go home every day and know that the 1,100 YMCA staff we have around Spokane had the opportunity to have a positive impact on a person’s life. We are here for the community every single day. Not everyone can say that.”
In his free time Steve enjoys golfing around Spokane, working out (at the Y of course), and reading. He and his wife Margaret have 3 children, Sarah, Bart, and Emma. Now that their children are older, he and his wife enjoy traveling and are setting their sites on Italy as the next adventure destination.