Editor's note: The Silicon Valley Business Journal will celebrate the area's 40 Under 40 honorees on July 25 for making major strides in their careers and having a positive impact on their communities. This is a profile of one of the 40 being recognized. All profiles will be published in print on July 26.
For Daniel Koba, the YMCA has served as home base, not only professionally and for its young members, but also personally when he returned from active duty in the military.
Koba joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 1998, at the same time he was working at the Y as a teacher’s aide. After Sept. 11, 2001, his unit was activated domestically, and later deployed to Kuwait for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Upon his return, the Y was instrumental in helping Koba acclimate back to civilian life: “Without the Y, I’m not sure I would have been able to assimilate … as well as I had,” he said.
As executive director of youth development — and while leading a staff of more than 300 employees and volunteers — Koba has worked to grow the Y’s afterschool programming and now oversees more than $18 million in revenue from day camp, summer learning programs and licensed child care, among other programs.
Under his watch, enrollment has increased by 10 percent. Additionally, Koba has secured more than $75,000 in grants to support the Y’s efforts through local foundations.
Share a story that describes the moment when you realized you were an adult: In 2003, my Marine Corps Reserve unit, Echo 2/23, was called up to serve during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Iraqi Army used schools and mosques as ammunition depots, with the understanding that the coalition forces would not bomb these targets. I remember separating boxes of ammunition from boxes of school books. That was the first time I remember being an adult.