Originally announced in June 2018 and after more than a year of intentionally working toward unification, the new YMCA of Southwestern Ontario will now serve the full region from Windsor in the West, North to Goderich, South to Point Pelee National Park, and East to Woodstock, and will be focused on creating lasting impact in all communities served for generations to come.

The unified YMCA is led by Andrew Lockie as CEO. Former Interim President and CEO of YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario, Kathi Lomas McGee, has taken the role of Senior Vice President of Operations in the new association.

Lockie said the decision to unify was not based on cost savings, but rather on the belief that together, a unified Y could have even greater and lasting impact on local communities.

“This is about doing more with more. Together, we’ll be able to serve more children, youth and families with an even stronger governance and operational model, including improved staff supports and opportunities.”

Together, the two associations are expected to serve more than 190,000 people in the region at nearly 200 different locations.

YMCA Canada applauded the work as a step forward in strengthening the YMCA movement in Canada.

“Congratulations to the newly amalgamated YMCA of Southwestern Ontario as they advance their commitment toward long-term sustainability and better meeting local needs,” said Peter Dinsdale, President and CEO of YMCA Canada. “This is a great example of the strategic decisions YMCAs are making together to create bigger impact in the communities they serve.”

Per the unification business plan, the new organization will be led by a board that includes a combination of members of each individual association’s former board and new membership, as well as an amalgamated leadership team with senior staff from both associations.

The unified organization has a number of goals in the next five years, including enhanced and expanded service to communities across the region, improved operations, and most importantly, greater impact to individuals, children, youth, and families through greater responsiveness to community needs.

The unification of systems and processes is ongoing, including a new regional website expected to be launched during the first half of 2019.