BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
After more than a decade on the job and millions of dollars in improvements to the Danville Family YMCA, executive director John Alexander is moving up in the nation-wide organization.
Alexander, of Danville, was hired to run the facility at 1111 N. Vermilion St. in October 2001. Since then, growth has been continuous at the Y through projects and recent membership increases.
As of April 15, Alexander will become 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 the position, he will work with the facilities to development strategies and management for each.
There are 40 resource directors in the Y-USA Association across the country.
The move up the ladder came without any posturing for advancement, Alexander said, adding that he took the recommendations of several people who suggested he accept the job as a result of his past leadership roles in various organizations, including chairman of the Illinois State Alliance as well as past president of the Danville Lions Club and Rotary Club.
“There are shared problems and challenges that we all face, including find staff members and paying the bills,” he said.
Because of his involvement, Alexander said the decision to take the resource director position was difficult.
“We’ve got 6,000 members that I’m going to miss in an extraordinary way,” he said.
During his tenure at the Danville Family YMCA, Alexander has overcome issues in improving the facility infrastructure and creating a growing trend in membership. Recent numbers indicate, the local YMCA has gone up 1,700 members since 2009.
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.
“I’m sad that I’m leaving, but there’s always unfinished business,” he said.
Despite the change, Alexander said he still intends to be actively engaged in the Danville community.
To fill his position immediately, Alexander said an interim director will be used in the short term. The national association will facilitate a board search for a permanent director. Alexander estimated that a permanent director could be in place by the end of the summer.
He said the board “will look in all directions” including within the Danville YMCA as well as on the regional and national level.