Leader of Danville Y takes new job

Leader of Danville Y takes new job

DANVILLE — The chief executive officer at the Danville Family YMCA has accepted a position with Y-USA as resource director serving small to midsize YMCAs in central and southern Illinois.

John Alexander of Danville has been the chief executive officer of the Danville YMCA since October 2001. He said Thursday that he wasn't looking for another position but was approached about the resource director's position when it became known that it would be vacant.

"After prayer, and a lot of thinking about it, I went ahead and applied, and the announcement was made yesterday," said Alexander, who will be assisting 24 YMCAs, including the facilities in Danville and Champaign-Urbana, in the central and southern region.

Alexander said he will be doing training and consulting work with the chief executive officers and chief volunteer officers at all 24 facilities. Alexander said he will remain in Danville, but the position will require travel. Being able to remain in Danville, he said, was one of the attractions of the position.

"I will be able to influence 24 Ys instead of one, and that was another major attraction," he said. "I know most of the CEOs from these Ys and have been in almost all of the facilities, so my learning curve will be a little bit flatter, and I like to think that I have credibility as well as access to these Ys because of my long-term standing with the Danville Y."

His last day at the Danville Y will be April 12 and his first day in his new position will be April 15.

Alexander said the search for his replacement in Danville will begin next month. Alexander said he will not be involved in that process, but a committee of the board will be assisted with the search by Y-USA representatives. He said he expects there to be interest in the position from within the local Y staff as well as from outside the Y and within the Y association nationally. Alexander said he expects it will take 90 to 120 days to have a new chief executive officer in place. In the meantime, he said the board will be appointing an interim CEO.

"I don't know how that will work, but the board will consider some options with guidance from Y-USA staff," he said. "We have a wonderful board and staff, which gives me confidence that my departure will not be noticed greatly."

In his 12 years as CEO, the Danville Y has made about $2.4 million of improvements in the facility at 1111 N. Vermilion St. and boosted membership from 4,300 in 2007 to 6,000 today.

Alexander said the crown jewel of the improvements was the addition of the Glen Murphy Wellness Center, but the generosity of the community has not only allowed the Y to expand physically but also expand its capacity to serve the community and the people.

Alexander said although he will remain in Danville, his goal is not to "keep his fingers interfering" in the Y but will stand as a resource for any of the currently undone projects and to help transition the new director.

In a letter announcing Alexander's hiring, Dan Harris, the senior resource director for the Midwest Region, Association Resources of YMCA - USA, said that Alexander "has a special passion and a deep commitment to the Y profession along with an impressive record of leadership, achievement and volunteerism both in and outside the Y movement for over 30 years."