CEO Tom Beerntsen Announces Retirement

Tom Beerntsen headshot

Tom Beerntsen, CEO of the Door County YMCA, announced his intention to retire effective March 31, 2021. Tom served as CEO in Door County for the last six plus years. He has a lifetime of work in the YMCA organization.

“During his tenure, Tom improved the visibility and image of the Door County YMCA, helped build a strong staff, improved staff culture, improved the physical facilities and implemented a new long-range strategic plan leading to a high of 9,000 members pre-pandemic,” said Mike Felhofer, Door County YMCA board president.

Before joining the YMCA staff in Door County, Tom served as the first Executive Director of the Wood Family Foundation in Chicago, founded by retired Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood. Prior to his work with the Wood Family Foundation he was executive vice president for Association Development with the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. Before the integration with the YMCA in Chicago in 2011, he served as the president/CEO of the Heritage YMCA Group which served numerous communities, including Naperville and Aurora. 

Beerntsen owned and operated a family confectionery business in Manitowoc, WI from 1983 to 2003. His family operated the business since 1932. Prior to working in the family business, he served as a YMCA director in Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota.

“As I reflect on this long journey it occurs to me I have been uniquely blessed to have had the opportunity to sit on “both sides of the desk” as a YMCA employee and YMCA volunteer,” Beerntsen said.

“Door County is a better place for everyone thanks to Tom and Penny, his wife,” Mike said. “They have not only been dedicated to the YMCA, they have both dedicated time and resources to non-profit organizations in the community. The board, staff and members will miss their leadership and ability to make each person feel so special.”

From 2001-2003 Tom served as Chairman of the Board of the YMCA of the USA. As an officer, he traveled 100 days per year serving as the primary volunteer ambassador.

Tom and Penny have two children, Julie who lives in Baltimore, and Mike in Colorado. Once the pandemic is over, they plan to resume traveling and continue to volunteer.


Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives, and generations, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities nationwide.

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