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News Release: YMCA of Michiana, YMCA of Southwest Michigan boards approve intent to merge

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August 08, 2019


NILES, Mich. – Both the YMCA of Michiana and YMCA of Southwest Michigan boards of directors have voted on their intent to merge into one association. The merger is slated to be effective January 1, 2020.

Collectively, the YMCAs will serve over 20,000 members and participants and employ more than 500 people with an annual operating budget of $10 million, which will double the size of each current association.

“Our teams are excited about moving forward as one Y and are already working together to ensure a smooth transition for our members and program participants,” said Bill Cerney, YMCA of Michiana Board Chair.

The merger will allow the new association to expand its base of volunteers, donors, and partners, enabling the Y to positively impact more children and families in the community.

“This unity will enable us to be more innovative, to create and launch new programs, improve facilities, and offer more benefits to our members," said Mowitt S. Drew III, YMCA of Southwest Michigan Board Chair.

The intent to merge is the result of a management agreement between the organizations that has been ongoing since April 2018. A task force of six board members representing both Ys recommended the merger after the success of this initial agreement.

The intent to merge was approved by both boards of directors and the YMCA of Michiana Board of Trustees. Final details of the merger will be completed over the coming months. Mark Weber, YMCA of Southwest Michigan CEO and YMCA of Michiana interim CEO, will continue in his role as CEO of the new association.

The newly merged organization will serve the greater Michiana area with 4 locations; Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA in St. Joseph MI, Niles-Buchanan YMCA in Niles, MI, Riverview Family YMCA in South Bend, IN, and YMCA Camp Eberhart in Three Rivers, MI.