CEO of Leading Construction Firm Joins Metro YMCA Board of Directors

By: Mollie Shauger | Thursday, August 13, 2020 | Leadership

Doug Phelps

As a kid growing up in Webster, NY, near Lake Ontario, Doug Phelps lived right next door to his local YMCA and has fond memories of sledding down the Y’s hill in winter time, and then playing pickup basketball games with friends after school as a teen. 

Years later and after moving to New Jersey, he would go on to oversee the construction of a new Y in Wyckoff and the building of numerous additions to that Y. Now he joins the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, which has seven locations throughout Essex, Passaic, Bergen, and Sussex counties. 

Phelps was introduced to the Metro Y Association through current board member Matthew Jarmel. This will be his first time serving on a Y leadership board, where he hopes to lend his experience in planning, management, and construction to decisions on how Metro Y facilities could be improved within the right budget.

Phelps, an alumnus of Syracuse University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, began his career with a Door, Frame, and Hardware Company in Rochester, NY. He relocated to the tri-state area to service their Manhattan projects, and when their work in the area was complete, Phelps decided to stay in New Jersey to work for a local general contracting firm. There, he advanced from estimator, to CFO, and eventually became a partner in the firm. In 2007, he resigned and founded Phelps Construction Group, located in Boonton. Growing his business was not an easy feat in the midst of an economic recession, but has paid off. 

“It was a difficult first three or four years,” he admitted. “It had its challenges but it’s been very rewarding.”

Phelps Construction Group has grown to be one of the leading general contracting firms in the state, completing small and large projects for businesses, churches, nonprofits, healthcare and recreation centers, museums, and schools. The team of about 40 employees manage a portfolio that includes the Executive and Coaches Offices for the NJ Devils at the Prudential Center, Teachers Village in Newark, and The Peopling of America Center on Ellis Island. His group recently completed construction of the new Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island.

Phelps, a resident of Boonton, currently serves as Chairman of the Boonton Planning board, President of the board of trustees for the Boonton United Methodist Church, and is a board member on the American Heart Association’s Hard Hats with Heart and Greater Northern New Jersey Heart Walk. He is also a board member at the Institute of Educational Achievement, a school for autistic children in New Milford where he recently led the construction of their new Adult Learning Center. He and his wife Beth have two daughters, Sally and Perri, both recent Syracuse grads.

On joining the Y team, he said, “I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone, meeting the board, seeing the facilities and learning more about the Y,” he said. “One of the things I can do is to make sure whatever we do, that the programming is right for the future of the Y.”

“Doug’s prolific construction career and industry knowledge will be instrumental as we look for opportunities for growth and expansion within our Ys,” said Richard K. Gorab, President and CEO of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges.


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