New Friends of Youth CEO, Paul Lwali, will replace Terry Pottmeyer. Courtesy photo.

New Friends of Youth CEO, Paul Lwali, will replace Terry Pottmeyer. Courtesy photo.

Friends of Youth hires new CEO

Pottmeyer steps down; Lwali becomes new Friends of Youth CEO.

Terry Pottmeyer is stepping down as the CEO for Friends of Youth (FOY).

Pottmeyer served the nonprofit for the past nine years. Paul Lwali has been selected to be the new CEO of FOY, effective Feb. 4.

During Pottmeyer’s leadership, the agency’s budget grew from $8 million to $17 million, increased commitment and programming to address youth and young adult homelessness, expanded the foster care program for refugee and immigrant youth, increased behavioral health access — including integration with physical health care — and launched its WISe/Wraparound services.

“It has been an unmitigated privilege to serve Friends of Youth over the past nine years, and to work with all of you,” Pottmeyer said about the surrounding community. “I will always be a supporter of Friends of Youth. Thank you for your commitment to the youth we serve and support.”

Bill Savoy, FOY board chair, said the agency had been working with Pottmeyer on plans for succession since the middle of 2018.

“Of course we knew Terry couldn’t lead Friends of Youth forever,” he said. “And we wanted to make plans for someone to take her place when she felt ready to step down.”

Savoy said Pottmeyer found Lwali and said, “‘You have got to bring this guy in. He will be perfect.’”

While Lwali is replacing Pottmeyer as CEO, there will be a long transition in order to help Lwali settle into his new role and for Pottmeyer to provide support.

Lwali’s background in leadership is what made him stand out among other candidates, according to Savoy.

Lwali most recently served as the senior executive director for the North Region of the YMCA of Greater Seattle. During his service, he increased equity and inclusion among YMCA members and created new strategic partnerships both locally and internationally. He has served as the executive for many YMCA branches across the country, including the Bellevue YMCA, where he created programming for special needs participants, partnered with other nonprofits and school districts on addressing out-of-school issues and helped forge new and positive relationships with various ethnic and religious groups.

“I am excited by the opportunity to lead Friends of Youth, an important and impactful Eastside agency, to a future where all children have what they need to succeed. I will continue to strive to make a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable youth while deepening the agency’s work on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Lwali said in a release.

While Savoy and the other board members said they were sad to see Pottmeyer step down from the position, Savoy said he is looking forward to Lwali’s leadership and keeping Pottmeyer as a close supporter.

“We love Terry. We fully aligned with her all nine years and we fully align with her in this transition and with Paul,” Savoy said.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

King County logo
Auditors find racial disparities in King County contracts

BIPOC-owned businesses earn contract bids at a much lower rate than white-owned businesses.

courtesy of Studio East
Studio East presents “Shakespeare in the Park,” as first in-person performance in 16 months

Twelfth Night – Shakespeare in the Park, Performing at Juanita Beach Park June 18-20, 2021

Artist rendering of the park (courtesy of City of Kirkland)
132nd Square Park improvements to begin construction in July

The $8.35 million project will add new park amenities and surface water improvements.

Graphic rendering of ADU design used for Renton’s Permit Ready Accessory Dwelling Unit program (courtesy of City of Renton)
Backyard cottages might offer a partial solution to King County’s housing problem

Some cities are embracing the solution better than others.

Flames attack the hillside in Bonney Lake on Sept. 8, 2020. (East Pierce Fire & Rescue photo)
WA firefighters brace for potentially busy weekend

Washington state Department of Natural Resources firefighters were preparing for what could… Continue reading

Kathy Lambert (courtesy of kathylambert.com)
King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert announces campaign for re-election

Editor’s note: This is a press release from the candidate’s campaign.

Jeff Duchin, Seattle - King County Public Health officer, said when considering whether to wear a mask indoors in public spaces, people should understand their risk based on local coronavirus activity and make decisions based on their own risk tolerance. (Getty images)
Should you keep masking up if you’re vaccinated?

Think about it, says King County’s top doctor.

Courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health
Inslee sets June 30 target for Washington to fully reopen

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most places, the federal CDC said.

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17, 2020, at the state Capitol in Olympia. File photo
Open-carry of weapons now illegal at state Capitol, rallies

A new law bars people from carrying guns within 250 feet of a permitted demonstration.

(Pixabay.com)
As rates of stoned drivers increase, law enforcement face challenges

WSP trooper said a THC breathalyzer would be a “game changer” for law enforcement and courts.

E. coli. Photo courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration
Seven King County children sickened with E. coli

Seven children in King County have been infected with E. coli, a… Continue reading