Although he is living in Philadelphia for the first time in his 54 years, John F. Flynn, the new president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of Philadelphia & Vicinity, said no one should doubt his Philadelphia sports loyalties.

"I grew up with Ron Westbrook, Brian's dad, and we played sports together since we were in kindergarten," said Flynn, referring to the father of the Philadelphia Eagles running back. "I go to a game or two with him every year, so I am a diehard Eagles fan. I'm sure I will love it here full time."

Flynn, who has worked in Albany, N.Y., for the last 21 years, comes to Philadelphia's YMCAs at a crucial time. While the YMCA has served generations of health-seekers, it has been buffeted by competition from all sorts of health clubs, both multifaceted and specific.

There are clubs for martial arts, tennis, basketball, and who knows what else. Flynn's challenge is to show that the YMCA has community as well as exercise in mind, and its mission, unchanged through the years, is as valid in the 21st century as it was before.

The YMCA of Philadelphia & Vicinity has 10 branches, from inner city to suburban to small town. They range from the Christian Street YMCA in South Philadelphia, one of the first African American YMCAs in the country, to the Rocky Run branch in Media and those in Hatboro, Ambler and the Main Line.

Raised in Holyoke, Mass., Flynn said he grew up as a "Y" gym rat. The game of volleyball was, in fact, invented at the Holyoke YMCA, according to a number of sources.

But it was basketball that attracted Flynn, who was good enough to play it in college at Loyola University in Montreal. He went home to Holyoke after college and became a social worker at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, meanwhile coaching basketball teams at the YMCA in his spare time.

"One day, someone came up to me at a game and asked if I would like to be the executive director," he said. "I looked into it, and it seemed like a good thing."

After eight years in Holyoke, he moved to Albany to become that area's YMCA chief. He raised a son and daughter there, and was on the city council for 10 years, but still had the desire to go to a bigger place.

"Even though there were 10 Ys in the Albany area, the same as here, it was a wonderful opportunity to come to Philadelphia," he said, noting that the YMCA budget in Philadelphia is $40 million, compared with only $30 million in Albany, so the challenge is greater here.

Meanwhile, he is already preparing for the next Eagles season.

"It will be great to be here all season and see Ron at Brian's games. He was a great athlete, too, though he was only 5-8 and 150 pounds," Flynn said. "And to think we both got our start at the Y."

- Robert Strauss

Sunoco Logistics Partners L.L.C., Philadelphia, named Neal Murphy chief financial officer. He had been CFO at Quaker Chemical Corp., Conshohocken.

Michael J. Pellini was named a vice president in Safeguard Scientifics Inc.'s life sciences group. He had been an executive in residence with Safeguard.

Buck Consultants, Berwyn, named Lee Barson director of business development for the ACS/Mellon Health Savings and Medicare Medical Savings accounts. He had been senior implementation manager.

QVC Inc., West Chester, named Tara Hunter director of public relations. She had been public relations manager.

Debra Brown was named president of TMX Communications, Conshohocken. She had been vice president of marketing at Dun & Bradstreet in New York.

Rena Systems Inc., an Oaks envelope-imaging-system and mailroom-automation-products company, named Nick von der Wense president. He had been vice president.

William F. Casey was named treasurer at GMAC Residential Capital in Horsham. He had been managing director and assistant treasurer.

Yoh, a provider of talent and outsourcing services, promoted Heather Peters to senior director of human resources. She had been human resources director.

Michael F. Christman was named president and chief executive officer of the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, Camden, effective June 1. He had been professor and founding chair, Department of Genetics and Genomics, at the Boston University School of Medicine.

Commerce Bank promoted Joseph P. Tredinnick to regional vice president for Camden County. He had been a regional vice president for the Cherry Hill region.

Timothy P. Dillon was named vice president of human resources at Devereux, which serves children, adolescents and adults with behavioral, mental-health and developmental/intellectual disabilities. He had been national human resources director.

Tammie Reimer was named director of the Norristown Training Center of Developmental Enterprises Corp. She had been a program specialist at Developmental Enterprises' Willow Grove Training Center.

Mark H. Daugherty was named financial controller of Rheologics Technologies Inc., Exton. He had been manager of separate business partnerships for Rheologics' chairman and chief scientific officer, Kenneth R. Kensey.

Shelli Field was named chief operating officer for Paragon Research & Consulting, West Chester. She had been president of TVG Market Research.

Kevin Mayer was named director of marketing communications at Subaru of America, Cherry Hill. He had been senior vice president and account director for the American Suzuki Motor Co. account at Colby & Partners.

Donald B. Grimm was named vice president and actuary for Harleysville Insurance. He had been a consulting actuary for Milliman Inc., Wayne.

George Juzdan was named vice president and commercial lines casualty product officer for Harleysville Insurance. He had been general manager of field operations for Wausau Insurance Co.'s Eastern division in Alpharetta, Ga.

Vox Medica, a health-care communications company, named Emily Poe vice president in the public relations group. She had been vice president for Cohn & Wolfe, New York.

Mitchel E. Sweigart was named executive vice president and director of operations for MRA Realty Inc., Plymouth Meeting. He had been president of Maguire & Partners Management Group, Bala Cynwyd.

Todd J. Lynady joined Textron Financial's Business Credit division in Horsham as a vice president and senior business development officer. Lynady had been vice president in the Fort Washington office of GE Commercial Finance.

- Inquirer staff