BY TOM DALTON
---- — SALEM — Jason Silva, the top aide to Mayor Kim Driscoll, has been named executive director of the Salem YMCA.
The YMCA of the North Shore, the parent organization, made the surprise announcement late yesterday.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity,” said Silva, 35, a city councilor in his hometown of Beverly.
“The Y is an institution in Salem, and it does such amazing and impactful work. I’m just happy to go there in such an important role.”
As chief administrative aide to Driscoll for the past seven years, Silva has worked closely with many local institutions, including the YMCA.
“I’m really ready for a new challenge, and this challenge and opportunity presented itself,” he said.
Driscoll said she is sad to lose Silva, who was campaign manager in her first run for mayor.
“He’s definitely a trusted confidante and aide,” she said. “I also know he’s got tremendous skills...This is a good opportunity for him, and I’m excited for him.”
Even though Silva is moving to the YMCA, “Salem will still benefit from his knowledge and hard work,” Driscoll said.
“Jason brings an incomparable depth of community knowledge,” John Russell, the Salem YMCA board president, said in a press release. “He’s proven himself capable of bringing people together to accomplish priorities that positively impact life in our community.”
Silva succeeds Mari Matt, who is moving to another position at the YMCA of the North Shore.
Matt had been executive director of the Salem Y since August 2011, when she replaced longtime director Debbie Amaral.
Before joining Driscoll’s staff, Silva, a Salem State University graduate, worked for the Massachusetts Nurses Association.
Silva, who is married and has three young sons, earns about $74,000 in Salem. The YMCA did not announce his new salary.
He starts his new job next month.
Tom Dalton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.