Big changes announced for Jackson YMCA

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – Big changes were announced Thursday at a mid-Michigan organization that’s been around for decades.

It’s a change of leadership at the Jackson YMCA that takes the organization into the future.

During a luncheon at the YMCA, outgoing CEO Rick Wilson announced that Shawna Tello will replace him.

She’s currently the Jackson YMCA’s Development and Adult Wellness Director.

“I’m ready to continue the good work of the Jackson Y,” Tello said.

Tello is the Jackson Y’s first female leader in its 121 year history.

“I’m proud to represent the women in our community,” Tello said.

She says it’s important to make a Y for the 21st century by providing special programs, child care, camps, and support for women.

“What keeps the Y vital and relevant is our mission to serve all. And what that really means is being able to adapt to the changing needs of our community,” Tello said.

These changes are happening as the YMCA launches a campaign to build a new building to replace their aging facility in downtown Jackson.

Around $17.5 million dollars is needed for a new building.

In January, the YMCA tried to create a millage that would have used tax dollars to build a new facility, but it was shut down by county commissioners.

With that option off the table, Wilson is stepping down to concentrate on raising the funds needed for a new building.

“The process has been going on for two years now. We’ve done feasibility studies; we’ve done market research studies. It’s probably just about time to go to the community and see if they’re ready for it,” Wilson said.

Leaders say for the Y to continue well into the future they’ll need a new place to call home.

“And being able to strengthen our programs as a result of having a new and better facility,” Tello said.

Tello will take over for Wilson in August.

A fundraising campaign for a new building will officially kick off in November.

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