The board of directors for the Princeton Family YMCA made history recently by electing Merilyn Rovira as the non-profit’s first female chair.
Rovira has been a member of the YMCA’s board of directors since 2011. At the time, she was a board member with the Princeton Young Achievers. When Princeton Young Achievers was adopted by the YMCA that year, she enthusiastically joined the YMCA’s board.
She has served in a variety of leadership roles on the YMCA board, including as first vice chair, as a key member of the executive and board development committees, and as a YMCA representative with the Princeton YMCA-YWCA joint trustees. During her tenure, she contributed to the successful reorganization of the YMCA-YWCA campus. The reorganization was completed in September 2016.
Since becoming a board member, Rovira says she has also become a very devoted Y member and energetic class participant.
“Until I got involved with the Y, I had no idea what an amazing community treasure we have right here in the center of town,” she said. “I started taking group exercise classes on Saturday mornings, and now I set my alarm so I don’t miss my standing appointment with Coach Steve. As importantly as the workout, I’ve met and made friends with neighbors. As a result, I feel even more connected to my community – which isn’t always easy with a commuter’s life.”
Rovira has more than 30 years of experience in real estate financing, housing policy, and government and industry relations. She is the senior vice president for capital and strategic initiatives with the Community Development Trust, a national investor in affordable housing based in New York City. Previously she was a director in the Housing and Community Development Group at Fannie Mae, a senior vice president at the Local Initiatives Managed Assets Corporation, and a senior mortgage officer at New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley.
A mother of two, Rovira lives in Princeton with her husband, Carlos Rodrigues, an urban planner. She succeeds Paul Biondi of Skillman, who served as chair for a two-year term. Biondi will continue to serve on the board of directors.