Native Son

Chris Seilkop

After seven years as president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of the Golden Crescent in Victoria, Texas, Christopher “Chris” Seilkop will return to his hometown of DeLand as CEO of the Volusia/Flagler Family YMCA.

Mr. Seilkop, 49, will start his new job Jan. 3. His wife, Rhonda, and daughters, Tori and Isabelle, have already moved to DeLand.

He was born and raised in Deland and, he said, “had a wonderful time there.” Growing up, his father was the only orthodontist in town.

Mr. Seilkop had an accident at 7, falling off a lawnmower, which resulted in amputation of his right leg, below the knee. He competes in U.S. Paralympics volleyball. He is scheduled to play in China in May.

He played sports throughout his life and spent his teen years in Daytona Beach, graduating from Father Lopez High School. He has a degree from the University of Central Florida in political science and international relations.

Mr. Seilkop is the chairman on a committee for world beach volleyball and jokes, “I am finally using my degree after 30 years.”

“Volusia County is home and I am thrilled to be back” he said.” I view it as giving back to the community that gave me so much when I was growing up. Working in Texas gave me a different experience. I was able to learn some new skill sets and experiences. I hope I can bring back and improve what the Y does in the community.

“When I was a kid in DeLand, the Y wasn’t as big as it is now. The corporate office is in DeLand, but it has branches throughout the County.”

Mr. Seilkop served as chief operating officer of the Volusia/Flagler Family YMCA from 2008 to 2010 and executive vice president from 2010 to 2011, before moving to Texas,

The Volusia/Flagler YMCA has six locations, plus Camp Winona.

“In Texas we were able to do partnerships with community organizations and with the city,” Mr. Seilkop said. “There are a lot of partnerships (in Texas) on a number of programming and operational aspects. That is something I would like to look at for the YMCA in Volusia County and Flagler. What are the opportunities for partnerships to create win-win situations? Sometimes when you merge or collaborate on projects, you can stretch the dollar even farther.”

His accomplishments in Victoria included saving the city money while offering more services to the community while also expanding the YMCA program base.

For more information on YMCA programs, visit vfymca.org.

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