BANGOR, Maine — Rob Reeves, head of the Bangor YMCA for the last nine years, has decided to step down and take a similar position at a facility in his home state of Connecticut.
Reeves, 50, announced his resignation this week but will stay on until Dec. 19.
“This was really about making a change for my family and taking on a new challenge,” Reeves said in an interview Monday. “But, the comfort is knowing that the Y will keep going.”
Peggy Wentworth, now the Y’s director of operations, has agreed to serve as interim chief operating officer while a search begins for Reeves’ replacement.
“The staff loves her and looks up to her,” said Pat Gaetani, president of the Y’s board of directors. “She’ll get it done.”
Wentworth, who has been with the Y for nearly 20 years, said she’s comfortable taking the reigns.
“Why [Rob] has been successful is because of his passion and commitment to the Y’s mission and to the people we serve,” she said. “I hope I can continue that.”
Gaetani has formed a search committee for a new CEO, but he said the process could take several months.
“We’re glad for Rob, this is a good opportunity for him,” Gaetani said. “He’s been a outstanding CEO. He’s there all the time, sending e-mails out at 2 a.m. He’ll be sorely missed.”
Reeves’ departure comes at a time when the Y, like many nonprofits, is struggling to keep its finances on an even keel. Membership is down slightly, and donors are not lining up to give the way they used to. The facility has had 14 CEOs since it opened in 1867, and No. 15 will certainly have his or her hands full.
“There has been increased competition for activities and some of our programming,” Gaetani said. “But, we’re in the process of strategically planning for our future and looking at our membership and marketing efforts.”
The Bangor YMCA is on the verge of officially merging with the YWCA, although they have been engaged, so to speak, for nearly four years. Reeves said the merger has helped and will continue to help streamline efficiency and reduce costs for the organization.
“I’m most proud of that,” he said of his accomplishments as head of the Bangor Y. “It has allowed us to serve more kids and to reduce duplication of services.”
Beginning soon after the new year, Reeves will take over the Westport Weston Family Y in Westport, Conn. He was born and raised in that state and said he has family in the area, which made the decision a little easier on his wife and daughters.
In Bangor, Wentworth, Gaetani and the many other stewards of the Bangor Y said they will continue examining the services they provide and addressing any challenges.
“The great part about the Y is that we’ve always been supported by the city and the businesses of Bangor,” Gaetani said.
Added Wentworth: “We want to make sure people are not putting wellness on the back burner.”