BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
The Danville Family YMCA will come under new direction beginning next month.
Local YMCA officials announced Tuesday the Danville location had selected a new CEO to run operations at the facility, located at 1111 N. Vermilion St.
In a press release, the Danville YMCA named Mike Brown — former CEO of the Eric Snow YMCA in Canton, Ohio — as its new director.
Brown had served as CEO of Ohio YMCA for almost 11½ years, from September 2001 through the beginning of this year.
David George, director of the Danville Family YMCA Board of Directors, said in a press released that Brown was selected from a field of more than 40 candidates who expressed interest in the position.
Jessica McMasters, who served as interim director in recent months, said Tuesday officials had warned local representatives the opening could garner interest from as many as 60 to 70 candidates.
She said the YMCA’s nominating committee was looking at a number of factors regarding the position, including a strong Christian background as well as good organizational, planning and fundraising skills.
“An ability to relate to the community is always important,” she added.
The national search eventually narrowed the group to seven candidates who where interviewed by phone. Finally, three prospective CEOs came to Danville for face-to-face interviews with the YMCA board last week as well as opportunities to meet with key staff members.
McMasters said staff members have been anxious in waiting to find out who the new director would be.
“They seemed to like all three candidates,” she said.
Brown’s “qualifications and past experience make him a great match for our YMCA and our community,” George indicated.
The selection of Brown fills the void left with the resignation of longtime Danville Family YMCA director John Alexander. Alexander announced his decision to step down in March after working at the local YMCA since October 2001.
As of April 15, Alexander became the new resource director for the Y-USA Association, working with officials and staff members at 24 small- and medium-sized YMCAs in central and southern Illinois, including Danville.
As part of Tuesday’s announcement, George indicated he expects Brown to take over where Alexander left off by “expanding the Y’s impact on our community and growing the Danville association with a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.”
In almost 12 years, the YMCA has seen $2.4 million in upgrades, including the recent project to replace the building’s 40-year-old pool filter system. Numbers from earlier this year indicated the Danville YMCA has 6,000 members, up 1,700 members since 2009.
Brown is expected to take over the Danville YMCA on Aug. 12.
Brown began his YMCA career around 12 years ago as community program director for the Canton Area YMCA in Ohio. As director, he was responsible for securing the lead donation for the current Eric Snow YMCA project scheduled to open in January 2014 in Canton, Ohio.