PRESS RELEASE: West Cook YMCA CEO Jane Pate Resigning

The following notification was released by the West Cook YMCA:

OAK PARK—November 20, 2013— Jan Pate Resigns as CEO of West Cook YMCA; Interim Director to be Appointed

Pate, who spent 17 years in leadership posts as a volunteer and on staff in national and international YMCA organizations, has served the West Cook Y for the past eight years. She spent four years as the Y’s Development Director and as CEO since 2009 when she succeeded the now deceased Scott Gaalaas on his retirement.

Pate, who will leave her post in late December, said that she intends to pursue other career opportunities. An interim CEO will be named in the near future while the West Cook YMCA Board searches for a successor.

“Jan brought a high level of energy and enthusiasm to the West Cook YMCA. Under her leadership several important collaborative relationships were forged with other area community organizations who share the Y’s commitment to making the communities we serve stronger,” said David Phelps, Board Chair.

“The many partnerships that Jan developed and nurtured are excellent examples of how the YMCA inspires and impacts the lives of all whom we serve.

“Among her accomplishments have been to strengthen our link with Hephzibah, a leading child welfare organization; secure for Oak Park its designation as a Pioneering Healthy Community whose goal is to reduce childhood obesity; forge a relationship between West Suburban PADS and our own SRO housing program for men in transition and develop a partnership with the Village of Maywood to open and operate that community’s outdoor swimming pool.

“All of these initiatives are wonderful demonstrations of how the YMCA lives up to its promise of focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility to build strong communities,” he said.

“I’m most grateful for having had the opportunity to build on the tradition of service to the people of the west suburban communities that this YMCA has offered for the past 110 years. Most particularly, I’m pleased to have been able to assist the West Cook YMCA to earn national recognition as a Pioneering Healthy Community, a Global Center of Excellence, having built relationships with Ys in Kosovo and Japan and as a Diversity and Inclusion Y,” she said.

Reflecting on her term as the West Cook Y’s CEO, Pate said, “I believe that the Y’s senior management team is stronger than ever, particularly its membership and member engagement programs; we have a healthy investment portfolio and our fundraising is on track and well aligned with YMCAs in the United States.”

“The opportunity to mentor and train a new generation of young YMCA leaders has been particularly satisfying. I’m confident that the West Cook YMCA’s team will continue to meet the challenges of offering a full complement of programs that strengthen spirit, mind and body for all and help make the communities we serve stronger,” she said.

Pate has extensive experience in international and national YMCA leadership positions. A certified YMCA Organizational Leader, she has conducted YMCA training programs related to international connections and cross cultural competencies across the U.S. and around the world. She served as the US liaison to the European Alliance of YMCAs from 1997-2004 and worked most closely with new and re-emerging YMCA youth movements in former Soviet bloc countries in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

She served as a national YMCA staff member in the International Group of the YMCA of the USA for 10 years as an Associate Director Currently, she is the representative for the YMCA of the USA in the YMCA Europe Field Group in Kosovo.

Pate chairs Social Responsibility for the Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs and is a member of the state’s Public Policy Committee.

Previously, she had YMCA experience at the local level as a policy volunteer in Florence, South Carolina where she chaired both the Board and the International Committee.

Locally, Pate was elected to a four- year term as a Trustee of the Village of Oak Park in April of 2007. She served as the founding Chair of the Communityworks Advisory Committee of the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation; is a member of the Women Leaders in Philanthropy and also serves as a mentor in the Future Philanthropists program for the Foundation. Pate also serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park. She won the Staszak Award for service to youth from the Oak Park Education Foundation in April 2010.

Previously, Pate worked in broadcasting in Florence, South Carolina, in local government in Florence as a communications specialist, and in overseas humanitarian work, having served as a project manager for integrated community returns work in Kosovo with the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

Phelps said: “The YMCA….Our Cause Defines Us. YMCA members and directors know that lasting personal and social change comes about when we all work together. That’s why, at the West Cook Y, strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side-by-side with our members and neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. This community and collaborative focus is because of our commitment to youth development….because we believe that all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve. By bringing together all of the community’s resources, not just the Y’s, we seek a healthy, responsible environment for kids. Having just celebrated the YMCA’s 110th anniversary in West Cook County, the members, board and staff are committed to the next 100.” VFP

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