Kirkland returns to roots at YMCA

Published 6:16 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2021

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When Rob Kirkland worked at the Brewton Area YMCA in 1993, he had no idea just where that would lead him. As it turns out, it has lead him right back to where he began — a place he and his family are putting down their final roots.

Kirkland began his position as the CEO at the Brewton Area YMCA a few months ago and is still getting settled in what he and his wife, Holly, call their “last stop.”

“Having lived all over, I’ve seen that there aren’t a lot of exceptional small towns in the south,” Kirkland said. “But, Brewton is that — an exceptional small town.”

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During his more than 25 years as a part of the YMCA family, Kirkland has worked in facilities in Grand Rapids, Mich., Greensburg, Pa., Wetumpka, Monroeville and Bessemer with his most recent post at Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA Ocean Springs, Miss.

“Holly and I had always said that if the timing was right, we would love to be back in Brewton,” Kirkland said. “The timing of the opening here made it perfect for us to make Brewton our last stop for our family.”

Holly Kirkland is a Michigan native but found a fondness for the area back in the early to mid-2000s when her husband was executive director at the Monroeville Area YMCA.

“When we were in Monroeville, Holly would bring some of our seniors to Brewton for swimming,” Kirkland said. “It was about then that she saw herself in the area for for good. She saw what I knew was here. My loyalty to this community is strong. It started me on my journey and we are happy to call Brewton home again.”

Rob and Holly have four sons, Harrison and Hunter, who are students at University of South Alabama; Heath who is a student at T.R. Miller High School; and Henry, a student at Brewton Middle School.

“Our sons are happy to be in south Alabama,” Kirkland said. “Heath and Henry have found their places at the local schools and are active in sports and school. We are all happy to be at home here in Brewton.”