CEO and President
As president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, Lauren Koontz leads the organization’s efforts to ensure that all people — especially children — experience an equal opportunity to fully reach their potential. With a career spent in educational and health nonprofit development, she’s committed to the purpose of making the Y a thought-leader and best-in class provider of education, wellness and youth development programs designed to strengthen Atlanta communities. She is the first woman president and CEO in the YMCA of Metro Atlanta’s 160+ year history.
Functionally, she is responsible for the overall success of the Atlanta Association’s 20 membership and program branches, 13 early learning centers, 40+ partnership sites, two summer resident camps, the YMCA Leadership & Learning Center, and the teams of employees and volunteers who bring these places and programs to life.
Lauren joined the YMCA of Metro Atlanta in 2012 as its Chief Development Officer and was promoted to Executive Vice President in 2016. Previously, Lauren served in leadership roles at Coxe Curry & Associates, Emory University School of Medicine, Mount Vernon School, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, where she was named by the CEO to the organization’s National Strategic Steering Committee and was the youngest associate appointed.
As a volunteer and board member, Lauren specializes in strategic planning, board training and advancement. Lauren serves on the Board of Directors of The Fox Theatre, the Youth Advisory Council for the Atlanta Police Foundation, and the Advisory Board of PAACT, Promise All Atlanta Children Thrive. In 2022, Lauren was recognized by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of Atlanta’s Most Admired CEOs. In 2020, Lauren was named one of Atlanta Magazine’s Women Making a Mark. Lauren is a member of Leadership Atlanta’s Class of 2018 and is an active Leadership Atlanta alum and volunteer. In 2016, she received the YMCA’s highest honor — the “Sully” Award, named for Thomas Sullivan, YMCA’s founder in the U.S. — for exemplifying the mission and values of the YMCA. In 2013, Lauren was named among the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 Under 40.” Lauren speaks frequently on panels and podcasts on nonprofit management and leadership.
A Georgia native, Lauren grew up on St. Simons Island. She received a BBA from the University of Georgia and an MBA from Georgia State University. Lauren is married to Brad Koontz, a technology executive, with whom she has two children, Kate, 19, and Sam, 16.