Shover to step down as interim CEO of Quincy YMCA, hopes to have replacement named by year’s end

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Rick Shover | Photo courtesy of Quincy Family YMCA

QUINCY — Rick Shover isn’t ready to walk away from the Quincy-based YMCA of West-Central Illinois. He also believes he isn’t the person to lead the organization in the future.

Shover announced Monday his plans to retire as the CEO of the YMCA. He came out of retirement to serve as the interim CEO for the past 14 months, and he hopes to conclude his time in that position by the end of 2024.

A press release from the YMCA said a search committee has been created and a national search for the next CEO is underway. The goal is to have Shover’s replacement named by Jan. 1, 2025.

“I told (the board of directors) that I would (be the CEO) for two years or where I thought it was time to hand it off,” Shover said. “We got some things going in the right direction. The next step is going to be a capital campaign. We need it for the building. We need someone younger with a lot of energy. I love this place. I’ll do whatever I can. I plan on helping out transition-wise and maybe even do a part-time gig here.

“We’ve given (the board) plenty of time to find the right person we need, someone who wants to be here for the next 10 years.”

Todd Moore, president of the YMCA’s board of directors, expressed gratitude for Shover’s leadership. 

“Rick answered the call to steer the YMCA through a transitional period, and he has successfully charted a course for our future by reminding us of our core values and mission,” Moore said in the release. “We cannot thank him enough for delaying his retirement to guide us.”

This is Shover’s second stint as an interim CEO. He was a member of the board of directors from 2012 to 2018, then replaced Brandon Dowdy in the summer of 2018. Dowdy left after 2½ years on the job to take a position in Naples, Fla.

Jim Chamberlain took over as the CEO in September 2018, and Shover replaced him in May 2023. Chamberlain now works in Peoria.

The press release noted that Shover helped “realign the organization’s mission.” During his most recent stint as CEO, the Quincy Family YMCA raised $230,000 during the summer of 2023 in its first capital campaign since the COVID pandemic. The YMCA also announced the closure of its swimming pool on Dec. 31, 2023, which was expected to save the organization $3.5 million.

“There also were some staffing issues and the like,” Shover said. “There were some issues with management, leadership and stuff like that. When they parted company with Jim, they brought me in. It was more internal staffing stuff, to be honest with you.”

The CEO also oversees the Mount Sterling Community Center YMCA in Mount Sterling and the Western Community Center YMCA in Barry. The Mount Sterling facility opened in 2004, and the Barry site opened in 2012.

Shover, 63, said it was an honor to return to work at the YMCA. 

“I’ve got a really good group of people staff-wise,” he said. “I just need to find something where I can work about four hours a day instead of eight hours. With my energy level and age, there are some other things I really want to do.

“I’m not that guy who’s going to go out at 7 o’clock on a Tuesday night and have dinner with a (potential) funder. I don’t have that in me right now, and that’s what (the YMCA) needs. Someone to get out there, press flesh, remind people about the great work we’re doing here and be the face of the Y.”

The search committee is working with Y-USA to screen candidates with leadership experience. Interested people should send their resume to hr@quincyymca.net. 

“The next CEO will inherit an organization that is energized, focused and deeply devoted to nurturing the potential of youth, improving community health and contributing to a more equitable society,” Moore said. “We are committed to selecting a chief executive who embodies those ideals and can propel the YMCA’s positive impact for years to come.”

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