As executive director responsible for the day-to-day operation and administration of the YWCA of Pekin, Melinda Figge oversees staff, programs, finances, building and equipment, and reports regularly to the board of directors.
Figge began working for the YWCA in 2002 as interim executive director and was named the permanent replacement several months later. After having five executive directors over a six-year period, the
YWCA was facing severe financial crisis. Figge worked to bring individual program directors together, and within two years, the YWCA was financially sound and thriving again. With this increased stability came additional programming. Figge was directly responsible for the planning and execution of the Pekin Coalition for Equality activities. Child care programs have also grown under Figge’s leadership, including the opening of Pekin’s first off-site child care center and the establishment of a summer program at Midwest Central Primary School in Manito.
Figge has formed partnerships with many other not-for-profit groups in the community, bringing them together to plan social activities such as the Week Without Violence. Coordinating these efforts is a priority for her, and she communicates regularly with other local agencies to ensure the community’s needs are being met.
Figge volunteers her time to numerous community organizations, and also encourages YWCA staff and members to do the same. Her ability to juggle a constantly-changing schedule is extraordinary. Prior to becoming a YWCA employee, Figge served for nearly six years on its board. She is personally committed to the elimination of racism, and for this, the City of Pekin asked her to serve on its Human Relations Commission.
Earlier this year, Figge became a member of the Pekin Rotary Club. She volunteers with the Midwest Central Youth Wrestling Club and is a Girl Scout leader for her daughter’s troop—one of her greatest passions since receiving the organization’s Gold Award as a young woman. Figge served as a Cub Scout den leader for two years, and was a soccer coach for a season. iBi