Niles YMCA enters management agreement with St. Joseph YMCA

Published 9:29 am Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The chief executive officer of the Niles-Buchanan YMCA will provide leadership to both the Niles-Buchanan YMCA and the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA for the next several months as part of a management agreement entered into recently by the boards of directors for both organizations.

The agreement takes effect June 1 and will continue through January of 2017.

“Both boards signed a management agreement where the Niles-Buchanan leadership team — primarily myself and Denise (Peters) — will be overseeing both operations for an eight-month time period,” said Mark Weber, CEO of the Niles-Buchanan YMCA. “It gives us the time to get in there and look at some collaboration opportunities and some efficiencies we might be able to put together.”

The move is based on a study initiated after Mike Ahern, the CEO of the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA, announced he would be retiring at the end of May.

Weber said the purpose of the move is to allow both boards to evaluate whether or not sharing resources and services would result in an increased positive impact in both of the YMCAs’ communities.

Weber said they would explore different possibilities for collaboration, including joint grant writing that could bring more outside funding into both areas.

“Do we necessarily need two strategic leaderships at both facilities or could we operate more efficiently under one leadership and then take those savings and flow them into additional programing for the different communities?” said Weber. “We have two successful YMCAs having an impact in two different communities. It is about finding out if we can enhance that by combining resources.”

Weber said the management agreement should not have any effect on current YMCA members or YMCA programming.

At the end of January, both boards will evaluate what was learned during the management agreement and determine the next steps to take.