Most of the urban population is aware of the Benjamin Barnes YMCA, and some even know its significance to Tuscaloosa's African American community. But did you know that the Barnes Y (as it's affectionately known) is currently being run by its first female executive director? That director is LaKeda Smith.

Ms. Smith took on the role of Executive Director in March 2010 with the retirement of Mr. Alan McShan.  She had large shoes to fill, but since that time, Ms. Smith has continued the legacy that preceded her by maintaining the programs that were already in place as well as adding new elements for the community.

Ms. Smith is very open to new ideas and fundraisers. She is also approachable, much like her predecessors, and does what she can to make sure the YMCA lives up to its name.