Danville Y hires new leader

DANVILLE — The Danville Family YMCA board has hired a new chief executive officer from the Canton, Ohio, area.

Mike Brown, the former executive director of the Eric Snow YMCA in Canton, Ohio, will become the Danville Family YMCA's executive director Aug. 12, according to an announcement Tuesday from YMCA Board Chairman David George.

Brown was with the Canton area YMCA, now known as the Eric Snow YMCA, for 12 years, first as community program director, then executive director.

In an interview Tuesday from his home in the Canton area where he and his family are packing for the move to Danville, Brown said he accepted the position in Danville because it still has "a strong emphasis on the 'C' in YMCA, the Christian emphasis." And, Brown said, he and his wife felt like they were around family in the small community.

"And everybody was just wonderful while we were there," he said. "And as far as the Y goes, it's a healthy YMCA with an (experienced) staff that has the interest of the people they serve in mind. So they haven't resorted to being a swim and gym like a lot of YMCAs," he said. "It's still about the healthy spirt, mind and body."

Brown was chosen through a national search conducted by the Danville YMCA's local board, which appointed a search committee, chaired by George and assisted by national YMCA officials. More than 40 candidates expressed interest in the position, and the list was narrowed to three candidates, who were interviewed and met the YMCA board and key management staff last week.

"We are pleased to make this announcement and welcome Mike and his family to Danville," George said in a news release on Tuesday. "His qualifications and past experience make him a great match for our YMCA and our community. I commend the search committee for their efforts and diligence and thank Y-USA for its assistance in this process. We feel that Mike will continue where John Alexander left off — expanding the Y's impact on our community and growing the Danville association with a focus on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility."

Brown will succeed former Danville YMCA Executive Director John Alexander, who resigned earlier this year to take a position with YMCA-USA.

The Canton-area YMCA has been raising funds for a new building, and last year, Eric Snow, a former player with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the National Basketball Association, pledged a $1 million donation toward that campaign, and as a result, the Y was renamed for him. According to Tuesday's news release, Brown was responsible for securing the lead donation for the new building, which is scheduled to open in January 2014 in Canton.

Brown said Tuesday that he has not been the executive director of the Canton-area YMCA since January when his brother died, and he took some time off. He said he is now ready to "get back into the movement."

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