New YMCA marketing coordinator ready to serve community

Published 1:40 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2021

BERRIEN COUNTY — A local nonprofit organization’s latest hire is no stranger to the community.

Former news journalist Alexandra Newman is settling into her new role as the YMCA of Greater Michiana’s marketing coordinator.

An Ohio native, Newman was a news reporter for the St. Joseph-based Herald-Palladium for four years before joining the YMCA team. While she enjoyed her time writing stories and meeting new people, she said an opportunity to join the YMCA of Greater Michiana was too good to pass up.

“Since the pandemic began, I’ve been thinking of how I can serve, be more hands-on and see the impact of what I’m doing,” Newman said.

As a marketing coordinator, Newman will be working under marketing director Kayla Foster to promote the YMCA’s programs, develop its base of donors, volunteers and participants and increase its visibility in the community.

“We’re rebuilding our marketing team, and we are excited to bring Alexandra’s background into the position,” said YMCA of Greater Michiana’s chief development officer Jill Haboush. “She is well-spoken and excels in so many different avenues, including writing and social media. We are super excited to have her join our team.”

Newman’s primary marketing focus will be on the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA, one of three YMCA locations under the YMCA of Greater Michiana umbrella. The location has been a presence in the community for more than 85 years and offers amenities including preschool, swim lessons, personal training, nutrition counseling and more.

“They have not had a consistent marketing person at this location,” Newman said. “I will be creating a cohesive plan to keep up with marketing in this community.”

The new position allows Newman to have a more traditional work schedule, which lets her pursue her passion to serve.

“I can now volunteer for organizations and not create conflicts of interest,” she said. “The new schedule will free up my free time. I will have nights and weekends to enjoy the community I serve.”

As someone already familiar with the community through her years of reporting, Newman looks forward to using photos, videos, stories and social media to tell the story of the YMCA and the many programs it offers, including its Corner Store Initiative.

The YMCA Healthy Corner Stores Initiative connects small-scale growers and distributors with urban corner stores to increase the fresh fruits and vegetables available to families in the area.

“[The YMCA of Greater Michiana] has so many unique programs that people don’t know about,” Newman said. “I wanted to get involved. It’s not just a gym; It does so many more things to help in the community.”