BLOOMINGTON — Enhanced public-private partnerships, determining a use for the former pool area and more job opportunities for formerly incarcerated women are among goals of the new interim president and CEO of YWCA McLean County.
Liz German, vice president of operations for YWCA McLean County for the past four years and a YWCA employee for 12 years, was named interim president and CEO on Tuesday, effective June 24.
D. Dontae Latson, YWCA president and CEO since 2013, has accepted the position of CEO for Rocky Mountain Communities, a Denver-based affordable housing not-for-profit, effective July 1.
German, 34, of Normal said she is ready for the challenge, having worked alongside Latson for the past several years.
"I'm very honored and grateful," German said of her appointment. "I'm fortunate to have been with the YWCA for 12 years. ... We have a great team."
While the YWCA board is expected to take several months before naming a new president and CEO, German told The Pantagraph "I would be interested in the position on a long-term basis."
Barbara Taft, president of the YWCA board of directors, said: "We are thankful for Dontae's contributions to YWCA, which have been numerous. He will be missed."
"I came to this wonderful community with the goal of strengthening the infrastructure of the YW and finding the right person to take the organization to the next level," said Latson, 45. "We found that person in Liz German. I'm proud of the work our phenomenal team has done and have every confidence in the future of the YW with a great team under Liz's leadership."
German joined YWCA McLean County in 2007 as a site coordinator for the before- and after-school program and later was promoted to direct YWCA Young Wonders before being named vice president of operations in 2015.
During her tenure, she helped to streamline programs and initiated a before- and after-school program specifically for special needs students in McLean County Unit 5 and Bloomington District 87.
Developing partnerships with other organizations is important as funding for not-for-profit organizations remains tight, she said. A collaborative program could happen in the former pool area, which has been unused since the YWCA pool closed several years ago.
Job opportunities for women would be through Labyrinth, YWCA's program of community re-entry services for McLean County women who had been incarcerated, German said.
YWCA, whose programs also include Stepping Stones sexual assault prevention and response and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), has 110 full- and part-time employees and a $3.35 million annual operating budget.