EVERETT — Monti Ackerman is most comfortable with a calculator.
The device has served him well — both as a financial officer at Fortive and a volunteer for the YMCA of Snohomish County.
“That’s the big organization where my time goes,” said Ackerman, who serves on the YMCA’s board of trustees.
Ackerman is this year’s winner of the John M. Fluke Sr. Award. The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit and community leadership, according to the Snohomish County Economic Alliance. Established in 1970, it is named for the founder of Fluke Corp., a subsidiary of Fortive.
Ackerman has used his financial acumen to help the YMCA and other groups manage their costs, generate returns and boost donations. Just like private companies, nonprofits must keep an eye on the bottom line if they want to expand or continue their much-needed services, Ackerman said.
Ken Kettler, one of several people who nominated Ackerman for the award, wrote, “He is a magician when it comes to understanding the numbers and does a great job sharing his opinion about what the financials are telling us.” Kettler, who serves on the YMCA’s board, is president and chief operating officer at the Tulalip Resort Casino.
Ackerman was recruited by Fluke in 1981 after graduating with an accounting degree from the University of Washington.
Fluke and parent company Fortive are headquartered in Everett.
The firm’s leadership pointed him toward community service.
“I started at Fluke when John Fluke Sr. was running the company,” Ackerman said. “The company and Mr. Fluke were always avid supporters of improving the quality of life in the community.”
Ackerman has also served as a volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County, Everett Community College, United Way and other nonprofits.
But the YMCA has his heart.
Ackerman was familiar with the organization from the time he was a boy growing up in Lake Forest Park.
Until serving as a volunteer, however, he didn’t realize how broad was its impact.
“A lot of people think of the Y as a gym and pool. It’s much, much more,” Ackerman said.
It supports the community, youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. “It is the largest child care provider in Snohomish County,” he said.
During his nine years as a board member, the YMCA has opened three new facilities — in Stanwood, Camano Island and a new Everett branch, which opened in late 2019 at 4730 Colby Ave.
Another nominator, Craig Connell with Click PNW, wrote, “Monti’s passion, dedication and insights have advised the county’s largest nonprofit through prosperity, expansion and executive leadership changes. Without a doubt his commitment as a community service volunteer will be felt for decades.”
Ackerman is a fan of the board and its chairman, Matt Reinhard. “It’s an outstanding group of people working to support the mission of the YMCA,” Ackerman said.
Board meetings begin with a “mission moment” detailing how the YMCA was able to help someone, he said.
One of the most memorable was a story he heard just last month.
The YMCA was able to help a toddler who was socially behind, Ackerman said. The boy’s grandmother, who’d adopted him after his mother died, reached out to the Y for help.
The YMCA offered day care and other assistance.
As a result, “this little boy thrived,” Ackerman said. “His grandmother was very thankful and appreciative of what the Y was able to do for her family. You hear stories like this repeated many times over. It’s always so great.”
He is encouraging friends and co-workers to roll up their sleeves and volunteer.
“It’s one thing to financially support an organization,” Ackerman said. “But it’s completely different when you’re involved with them and tackling the challenges. You get to see the rewards first hand — the services they’re able to provide people.”
Janice Podsada: 425-339-3097; email@example.com;