The Solid Ground Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Shalimar Gonzales (she/her/hers) has been selected as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Solid Ground. She will begin on January 16, 2021.
“Selected with input from our community stakeholders, Shalimar has demonstrated both personal and professional commitment to racial justice and building community through strengthened connections for participants, community members, and staff,” says D’Adre Cunningham, Solid Ground Board Chairperson. “She is a leader who brings compassion, enthusiasm, and grace to the work of ending racism and other root causes of poverty. We are excited to collaborate with her in the work of building leadership throughout Solid Ground! Please join us in welcoming her to this fantastic organization.”
“I’m beyond thrilled to serve as CEO of Solid Ground! I look forward to deepening Solid Ground’s service to the community in new and meaningful ways.” ~Shalimar Gonzales
“I’m beyond thrilled to serve as CEO of Solid Ground! I look forward to deepening Solid Ground’s service to the community in new and meaningful ways,” says Gonzales. “Solid Ground has a great culture and a longstanding history of service. Building further on this success is a challenge I accept with confidence, determination, and fierce ambition for our work. I am passionately committed to placing our community at the absolute center of everything we do!”
Gonzales currently serves as District Executive for the YMCA of Greater Seattle overseeing YMCA operations across five locations, 500 staff, and an operating budget over $30 million. She has led the organization’s diversity, inclusion, and global capacity building, including management of employee resources, international partnerships, and equity training.
She has been a successful leader within the YMCA system for over 17 years. She started her career in arts-based programming in Seattle and served as the Associate Director of Membership Growth and Development at the YMCA of Los Angeles. She returned to Seattle to lead the historic Meredith Matthews branch and recently expanded the West Seattle location.
In addition to her long tenure with the YMCA, Gonzales is the current Board Chair of Community Roots Housing (formerly Capitol Hill Housing) and volunteers at Urban Impact in South Seattle. Gonzales is a native of San Francisco, California and attended Seattle University. Personally, she is deeply committed to health and fitness, and loves setting big goals as an Olympic-style weightlifter.