BELLEVILLE — The top executive of a metro-east chain of YMCAs will be leaving his post next month.
The YMCA of Southwest Illinois announced Wednesday that president and chief operating officer Jorge Perez will step down Jan. 28 to assume a new role with the YMCA of the USA in Chicago. In his new job, Perez will work YMCAs throughout the country to strengthen youth development programs and promote volunteerism.
Perez, a Texas native, came to the YMCA of Southwest Illinois in November 2007 after serving as the vice president of operations at the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati. He said serving and working in the YMCA of Southwest Illinois' locations in Belleville, O'Fallon, Maryville, Troy, Red Bud and Columbia over the past five years has been "one of the great honors of my life."
"It's been extremely rewarding and it's been a great honor to have served here," Perez said. "We have fantastic YMCAs with a very dedicated group of volunteers and staff. We have a very strong relationship with the communities we serve. I expect that will continue for the foreseeable future."
The YMCA of Southwest Illinois Chairman of the Corporate Board Of Directors is expected to spend six to eight months to review and hire a successor. In a released statement, board Chairman Bill Gavin said that the metro-east-based YMCA is grateful to Perez and his many contributions and his impact on the community.
"The excellent leadership that Jorge Perez has provided has better positioned our YMCA to better nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living and foster a sense of social responsibility," Gavin said. "The board is committed to finding a proven leader to continue the Y's efforts to engage its members and in fostering a transformational place for all. This transition will not affect our current strategic plans to engage, serve, and transform the lives of all kids, families, and communities."
Contact reporter Will Buss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2526.