Merger Approved by Both YMCA Boards


SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN–January 19, 2017 – The Boards of Directors for the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA and the Niles-Buchanan YMCA have voted to merge into one association. The two locations have been under a management agreement since June 1, 2016, with the original intent of sharing resources to best advance the YMCA’s mission of supporting youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.

Under the management agreement and leadership of CEO Mark Weber, both facilities flourished serving Berrien County as a united entity.

“The decision to merge into one entity was the next step,” said Mowitt S. Drew, III, President of the Niles-Buchanan YMCA Board of Directors. “While under the management agreement, the board saw positive improvements in respect to sharing best practices and leadership collaboration. Pooling resources from both locations will provide the YMCAs an opportunity to better serve Berrien County as a whole.”

“The board is excited about the future of both YMCAs with the merger,” said Bob Kenagy, President of the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA Board of Directors. “It’s a great opportunity to expand the reach of services in Berrien County, strengthen programming, and share resources.”

Community partners of both organizations are pleased with the partnership as well.

“Both YMCA organizations have been United Way funded partners creating long-term impact by providing important services to the youth of these communities,” said Anna Murphy, United Way of Southwest Michigan President.“The merger should not only strengthen their already strong programs and well-managed operations, but also bring greater awareness that the YMCA is committed to the entire Southwest corner of Michigan.”

Members at both locations have already been able to use both facilities, and this will continue as the locations undergo the merger process. The association will be named the YMCA of Southwest Michigan with each branch maintaining its independent identity. Weber will continue in his role, to be assisted by managers at each location.

The YMCA is a community based organization focused on having an impact in our communities. We are for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Collectively, the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA and the Niles-Buchanan YMCA have 14,141 members.


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