Staff Report

The Channel Islands YMCA Board of Directors has appointed Margo Byrne to succeed Sal Cisneros as its president and CEO.

Most recently as chief operating officer, Byrne led the operations of a $20 million, seven-branch organization with nearly 1,200 employees. The Y serves nearly 50,000 people annually, including those at the Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA in Santa Ynez.

“I am thrilled to lead an organization that positively impacts so many people by building and strengthening our communities,” she said.

Channel Islands YMCA CEO

Margo Byrne

Byrne began her career with the Y as the aquatics director at the Ventura Family YMCA 18 years ago. Moving up the ranks quickly, she then served there as executive director for eight years and took on the position as the COO of the Channel Islands YMCA in 2013. 

 Y officials said she has been instrumental in the development of programs such as Diabetes Prevention, Livestrong Cancer Survivor Program, Enhance Fitness – Arthritis Program, Third Grade Learn to Swim, and has deepened the Y’s focus on “cause-driven leadership.”   

She holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in kinesiology. Prior to joining the Y, she was a Lecturer at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Mo.

Thanking Cisneros for his 14 years as CEO of the Channel Islands YMCA, Board Chairman Robert Coles said, “The Channel Islands Association is confident in Byrne’s leadership and is poised once again to do great things in the next 14 years and beyond.”

Cisneros will join the YMCA of the USA as senior consultant of CEO Search. In this role he will be working with a team of CEO search consultants providing services to YMCAs across the nation requiring support during CEO transitions.

For more information about the Channel Islands YMCA, visit