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Schwartz to leave YMCA; search begins for new CEO

The YMCA of Greater Des Moines announced Wednesday that Dave Schwartz has resigned from his position as chief executive officer of the organization. In his resignation letter, Schwartz said his last day will be March 30. 

“Dave has said he believes now is a good time for someone else to take the organization to the next level,” Teri Wahlig, chair of the YMCA’s board of directors, said in a statement. “While we are saddened by his decision, we are appreciative of Dave’s leadership and efforts in advancing the mission of the YMCA of Greater Des Moines over the past 22 months.” 

A former insurance executive and co-founder of Bearence Management Group in West Des Moines, Schwartz led the West Des Moines Chamber for two years before becoming the Y’s CEO in June 2016. 

The Y has operated in the red for the past two fiscal years, and getting its financial house in order was the organization’s top priority, Schwartz told the Business Record in an an August 2017 interviewAccording to a status page on the Y’s website, the Y has raised more than $1.59 million in its current annual campaign, which has reached 101 percent of its  goal. 

Wahlig said Schwartz has pledged his support in helping ensure a smooth transition. As a part of this, the board of directors named Cameron Nicholson, the YMCA’s current vice president of internal affairs, to serve as the interim CEO until a new leader is identified. 

“Moving forward, it is important for everyone to know we have a motivated and talented executive leadership team in place, as well as quality staff at all of our branches – so the good work of the YMCA will continue,” said Wahlig. “Finding a new CEO for the organization will certainly be a priority, which is why we will partner with Y-USA on these efforts and hopefully have more information to share in the near future.”

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