Thursday November 1, 2018
As originally announced in June 2018 and after more than a year of intentionally working toward unification, the YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario and the YMCA of Western Ontario are officially one legal organization under the banner, YMCA of Southwestern Ontario, effective today, November 1.
The unified organization will serve the full region from Windsor in the West, North to Goderich, South to Point Pelee National Park, and East to Woodstock, and will be focused on creating lasting impact in all communities served for generations to come.
The unified YMCA is led by Andrew Lockie as CEO. Former Interim President and CEO of YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario, Kathi Lomas McGee, has taken the role of Senior Vice President of Operations in the new association.
Lockie said the decision to unify was not based on cost savings, but rather on the belief that together, a unified Y could have even greater and lasting impact on local communities.
“This is about doing more with more. Together, we’ll be able to serve more children, youth and families with an even stronger governance and operational model, including improved staff supports and opportunities.”
Together, the two associations are expected to serve more than 190,000 people in the region at nearly 200 different locations.
This unification is one of the first in Canada as part of a larger strategic movement by YMCAs nationally to strengthen their capacity and impact on local communities.
YMCA Canada applauded the work as a step forward in strengthening the YMCA movement in Canada.
“Congratulations to the newly amalgamated YMCA of Southwestern Ontario as they advance their commitment toward long-term sustainability and better meeting local needs,” says Peter Dinsdale, President and CEO of YMCA Canada. “This is a great example of the strategic decisions YMCAs are making together to create bigger impact in the communities they serve.”
Per the unification business plan, the new organization will be led by a board that includes a combination of members of each individual association’s former board and new membership, as well as an amalgamated leadership team with senior staff from both associations.
The unified organization has a number of goals in the next five years, including enhanced and expanded service to communities across the region, improved operations, and most importantly, greater impact to individuals, children, youth, and families through greater responsiveness to community needs.