Executive Vice President
Government and Community Affairs
Marie Arcos is a native Houstonian and third generation Texan. She has been with the YMCA of Greater Houston since 2001, and currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Government and Community Relations. In this role, Marie builds and strengthens partnerships with private and public organizations with the community and promotes our YMCA National and State Legislative agendas.
She began her career with the YMCA in 1996 as a volunteer board member then became the Executive Director for one of 36 YMCA’s in Houston. The first Latina in that role and the only Hispanic Executive Director in the organization at that time in 2001. She managed a budget of $ 1.3M, developed and maintained an active board of volunteers, was responsible for financial development to support the programming and initiatives, worked with her team and association in program development, and provided professional development and supervision of 8 full time staff and up to 40 part time staff. She served as an Executive Director for 16 years before moving into the corporate division of the organization as Executive Director of Community Development, a position created for her expertise to be carried out throughout the Greater Houston Area, then 3 years later promoted to Vice President. She is the first Latina to hold this position in Houston for this global organization.
Marie received her Master of Social Work from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work in 1997 specializing in political and community organizing. She is committed to ensuring equity in education and health for Houston children and families. Growing up in a large family did not afford her the opportunities that she believes all youth should have. For these reasons, she strives to help build connections, resources, and support for families to reach their full potential – particularly in the neighborhoods of high Hispanic populations. In fact, she considers herself to have limited early career advancements to staying in one neighborhood too long. But if she had to do it all over again, she would. During the time she served as Executive Director at the MD Anderson Family YMCA, she helped generate over $3M in investments to the programs and families in this overlooked community. Her acceptance to move to a different position and expand her career opportunities was prompted by the rapid revitalization of the nearby Northside neighborhood and promising opportunities for a new YMCA to replace the aged building from the 1950’s.
Marie is deeply engaged in activities that continue her family’s legacy of making significant volunteer contributions to our community. Marie attributes her passion for the non-profit sector to her grandparents and parents. She is one of seven children and grew up very modestly and unknowingly at that time, poor. The triad of faith, family, and friends are at the heart of community building. It is her belief that without strong families and vibrant communities, we cannot have a strong economy to compete with global competition. While growing up, she remembers her grandparents being active in the church, parks, political campaigns and positions demonstrating the power of and educated voice in our society. These organizing skills have made her a strong servant leader to Houston for over three decades and sparked her desire to become a trailblazer by seeking out and following through with every opportunity that allowed her to positively influence change.
Marie currently serves on the local boards of Harris County Public Health Department’s Healthy Living Matters Executive Committee, Avenue CDC and The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. She has also served on special committees that advance the quality of life for Houston, including Harvey Relief collaborations, Go Neighborhoods Northside/LISC, NCAA Final Four Houston Local Organizing Committee, and Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Transition Team. She is also a volunteer with Spindletop Charities, Inc. and is a senior fellow with American Leadership Forum, Class XLVII (47).
Marie loves everything Houston, supports her Hispanic heritage through the arts and education, and can often be found at community events and exploring the hidden gems around town. Mr. Reddington is Marie’s running buddy and can be found with her at home, on social media, in the community, and special Y events.