Pottmeyer steps down as Friends of Youth CEO

Lwali selected to take her position.

Terry Pottmeyer is stepping down as the CEO for Friends of Youth (FOY).

Pottmeyer, a Mercer Island resident, served the nonprofit for the past nine years. Paul Lwali has been selected to be the new CEO of FOY, effective Feb. 4.

During Pottmeyer’s leadership, the agency’s budget grew from $8 million to $17 million, increased commitment and programming to address youth and young adult homelessness, expanded the foster care program for refugee and immigrant youth, increased behavioral health access — including integration with physical health care — and launched its WISe/Wraparound services.

“It has been an unmitigated privilege to serve Friends of Youth over the past nine years, and to work with all of you,” Pottmeyer said about the surrounding community. “I will always be a supporter of Friends of Youth. Thank you for your commitment to the youth we serve and support.”

Bill Savoy, FOY board chair, said the agency had been working with Pottmeyer on plans for succession since the middle of 2018.

“Of course we knew Terry couldn’t lead Friends of Youth forever,” he said. “And we wanted to make plans for someone to take her place when she felt ready to step down.”

Savoy said Pottmeyer found Lwali and said, “‘You have got to bring this guy in. He will be perfect.’”

While Lwali is replacing Pottmeyer as CEO, there will be a long transition in order to help Lwali settle into his new role and for Pottmeyer to provide support.

Lwali’s background in leadership is what made him stand out among other candidates, according to Savoy.

Lwali most recently served as the senior executive director for the North Region of the YMCA of Greater Seattle. During his service, he increased equity and inclusion among YMCA members and created new strategic partnerships both locally and internationally. He has served as the executive for many YMCA branches across the country, including the Bellevue YMCA, where he created programming for special needs participants, partnered with other nonprofits and school districts on addressing out-of-school issues and helped forge new and positive relationships with various ethnic and religious groups.

“I am excited by the opportunity to lead Friends of Youth, an important and impactful Eastside agency, to a future where all children have what they need to succeed. I will continue to strive to make a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable youth while deepening the agency’s work on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Lwali said in a release.

While Savoy and the other board members said they were sad to see Pottmeyer step down from the position, Savoy said he is looking forward to Lwali’s leadership and keeping Pottmeyer as a close supporter.

“We love Terry. We fully aligned with her all nine years and we fully align with her in this transition and with Paul,” Savoy said.

More in News

Photo courtesy of City of Mercer Island
                                A cougar was captured by security footage on Aug. 5.
WDFW: Mercer Island cougar sighting ‘not unheard of’

The animal has not been spotted since the initial report was made

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photos
                                Covenant Living at the Shores residents and staff with Ageless Aviation pilot and team at the Renton Municipal Airport on Aug. 12.
Covenant Living at the Shores Residents take flight

Tom Norris, Sid Boegl, Doug Wilkinson, and Jack Nelson take flight in a 1942 Boeing Stearman.

The map shows ten areas of Mercer Island that require critical infrastructure and resources, should a natural disaster occur. Photo courtesy of the city of Mercer Island
Preparing for “the really big one” in a city surrounded by water

The Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan covers nearly 60 planning partners, including Mercer Island.

Photo courtesy of Juliana Kang Robinson
                                Juliana Kang Robinson’s public artwork, “Alone Together.”
MI artist completes Seattle public artwork

Juliana Kang Robinson designed the new artwalk intersection University and 1st Avenue near Harbor Steps and the Seattle Art Museum.

Dr. Richard Repass is the owner and medical director of Revolution Psychiatry. He has spent the last decade caring for patients who struggle with mental health illnesses and substance use disorders. Photo courtesy of Richard Repass
A new psychiatry clinic offers natural, alternative methods of detox various disorders

Revolution Psychiatry helps patients suffering with alcoholism or drug abuse, among other disorders.

The French American School of Puget Sound moved to Mercer Island in 1999 and took over the old fire station just north of the Stroum Jewish Community Center property. Madeline Coats/staff photo
Planning for the Community Facility Zone is paused after community expresses concern

Next steps for the zoning effort will be discussed on Aug. 20.

Mercer Island’s new rules for tree retention in full effect

New criteria must be met before a tree is removed outside of development.

A full room of Mercer Island residents questioned candidates running for City Council Pos. 7 and School Board Pos. 5. Madeline Coats/staff photo
Incumbent Bertlin and Jacobson leading Mercer council race

4,914 ballots were returned out of 18,197 registered voters in Mercer Island.

Most Read