September 2, 2013

2013 40 Under Forty: Fred Kaelin

Kaelin

Title: Executive Director of Dynamy, a division of Y.O.U. Inc.

Company location: Worcester

Residence: West Boylston

Favorite movie: "Shawshank Redemption"

Favorite book: "To Kill A Mockingbird" and "Lord of the Rings" (It was a tie; I was an English major.)

Career highlights:The largest is certainly the 2009 merger with Y.O.U. Inc. Dynamy had reached a critical crossroad just as it reached its 40th year, and I was a green executive director learning on the fly. I also take some pride in that I worked my way up to that chair for a decade while working with amazing coworkers and students. The merger set us up for a great deal of success the past few years, though the most important thing to me is how experiences at Dynamy have shaped many young lives.

Community involvement: I think that in the non-profit world, everything you do — formal and informal partnerships, coaching a colleague, how you set an example, etc. — is community involvement. I've served on the Worcester Public Schools College Access Community Partnership Committee and the United Way of Central Mass. Strategic Planning Committee.

Biggest success: Without a doubt, being a father to my precocious son. Professionally, it's a tie between refocusing Dynamy's "gap year" program — Internship Year —which has seen a 57-percent increase in enrollment the past few years, and increasing the retention of Youth Academy students while maintaining their college-going and degree-earning rates.

Biggest challenge: Fundraising year to year, especially while trying to keep up with the pace of change since 2008, and being careful about mission drift.

Mentors: So many people supported and mentored me at various stages in my career. The best thing they did was to support me and share their wisdom without dictating or talking down to me. They allowed me enough space to grow and find my own way while being supportive.

Hidden talents: I can manage a few recognizable impressions, and I have at least a sense of rhythm that often surprises our students.

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