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UnitedHealth Group executive Gaye Adams Massey to head YWCA St. Paul

Massey succeeds Billy Collins, who led the YWCA for 20 years.

Gaye Adams Massey
Gaye Adams Massey

Gaye Adams Massey has been appointed the new CEO of the YWCA St. Paul, succeeding Billy Collins, who retired in April after 20 years in charge.

Massey has been senior deputy general counsel and chief administrative officer at UnitedHealth Group, where she founded and chaired the company’s pro bono legal services program.

Before that, she worked at University Hospitals Health System in Cleveland and Aetna in Hartford. Earlier, she’d worked for the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, D.C.

Massey said in a statement:

I was drawn to this opportunity because of the YWCA’s long-standing commitment to eliminating racism and empowering women—two vital imperatives for social justice today. I am honored to serve an organization that is a key resource for services that equip and empower women, strengthen their families and contribute to a stronger community. The importance and urgency of the YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism can be easily appreciated as our nation copes with the tragic results of racist violence. I am excited by the opportunity to lead an organization that has accomplished so much, and through the long-term support of its many partners, funders and volunteers, is poised to do so much more in the future.

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YWCA board President Shawntera Hardy said: “An accomplished executive and leader, Gaye brings the experience, passion and vision that will make it possible to build on the strong foundation left by Billy, and continue to meet the urgent needs of the women, children and families that the YWCA St. Paul serves.”

Massey earned her law degree at Harvard and is a trustee of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She serves on the boards of Way to Grow and the Institute for Food and Development Policy. She previously served on the boards of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Twin Cities Diversity in Practice and Families Moving Forward.

She starts July 13.