The YMCA of Greater Des Moines has named a new CEO, ending a search that began after former CEO Vernon Delpesce resigned in January.
Current West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dave Schwartz was appointed as the YMCA's CEO on Tuesday, according to a media release from the Y. Schwartz replaces interim CEO Jim Noyce.
"Dave brings a unique combination of business acumen and nonprofit experience to our organization," Clarence Hudson, YMCA board chairman, said in a statement. "When you combine that with his lifetime commitment to community and the passion and energy he brings to everything he touches, we knew he was the right person to help us take a quantum leap forward."
Prior to his work with the West Des Moines Chamber, Schwartz was a co-founder and president of Bearence Management Group in West Des Moines, and he was a managing director with Marsh & McLennan Companies. He also has fundraising experience with the Dowling/St. Joseph Foundation and the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
"The YMCA of Greater Des Moines is a wonderful community asset that has the ability to change lives," Schwartz said in a statement. "We all know the positive impact it has had over its first 147 years of existence here in Central Iowa. But, as we look ahead, this is an organization that will continue to impact community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility."
The Y's downtown Wellmark branch moved into its new $30 million home in 2015. It includes a gym, indoor track, racquetball and handball courts, an indoor cycling studio and a wellness center. The facility also has plans for an Olympic-sized pool, which stands unfinished amid a reported $8 million fundraising shortfall, according to a Des Moines Register report.
In January, YMCA executive board member David Stark told KCCI that new leadership was necessary to move forward with the rest of the facility. Some Wellmark YMCA donors expressed frustration at the stalled project last year, with one local philanthropist calling the uncompleted project "embarrassing," according to a Register report.