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CEO resigns a year after being hired to lead Whatcom Family YMCA

Dan Powell, shown Sept. 25, 2013 at the Bellingham YMCA building, has resigned as CEO of the Whatcom Family YMCA.
Dan Powell, shown Sept. 25, 2013 at the Bellingham YMCA building, has resigned as CEO of the Whatcom Family YMCA. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

The CEO of the Whatcom Family YMCA has resigned, a little more than a year after starting the job.

Dan Powell was the head of the Door County YMCA in Wisconsin before leaving to take the top post at the YMCA here. His first day on the job at the Whatcom Family YMCA was Sept. 12, 2013.

Powell couldn’t be reached Monday, Nov. 3, for comment.

He resigned last week, according to Kathy Hughes, president of the board of directors for the Whatcom Family YMCA.

“It was mutually agreed that this wasn’t a good fit. We thank Dan for his help this last year and the great things he accomplished,” Hughes said Monday in an interview.

She declined to explain why Powell and the organization weren’t a good fit.

“He has resigned. We’ve accepted his resignation and we’re moving forward. It’s a good idea for us both to go our own way,” Hughes said.

The Whatcom Y is once again launching a national search for a new CEO.

Powell, who had held the Door County post since July 2006, was hired to replace Dave Harding, who retired at the end of June 2013 after 25 years at the helm of the Whatcom Y.

“The (Whatcom YMCA) board expresses its sincere appreciation to Dan for his hard work, commitment and accomplishments, and regrets that his considerable skills are not those most needed by the YMCA. The board wishes Dan much professional success in his future endeavors,” the board said in a statement issued Monday.

Bill Ziels, a member of the Whatcom YMCA’s board for 10 years, is taking a leave of absence from the Y board to serve as interim CEO during the search for Powell’s replacement.

Ziels had served as treasurer while on the Whatcom Y’s board and has a 30-year career in senior management positions, according to the board’s statement.

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