Jones withdraws from YMCA CEO search
Published 7:01 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Board vote on new president postponed
On Tuesday, Ralph Jones, a retired Decatur County superintendent and Bainbridge High School football coach, withdrew his name from consideration as the next permanent CEO/president of the local YMCA.
Jones, a retired Decatur County superintendent and Bainbridge High School football coach, had been one of two finalists for the job. The other was Jim Bouldin of Tallahassee, Fla., a former executive director at several community YMCAs.
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In a statement, Jones said that he had “reservations and struggled with myself whether to move forward in the interview process for the YMCA CEO position.”
“I have never taken a job without being 100 percent sure that it is something I would be passionate about and fully committed to all aspects of the work,” he said. “If I was chosen for the job and went in with any reservations, it would be a mistake and would not be fair to the YMCA, community or my family.”
The YMCA’s 13-member Board of Directors was originally scheduled to meet Wednesday, Feb. 8, to choose between the two finalists. However, that vote has been postponed.
Glennie Bench, the chairman of the five-member YMCA CEO search committee, said the committee met Tuesday and chose to delay the process.
“We felt like we had an obligation to present the board of directors with a choice of two candidates,” she said.
Bench said that Bouldin would remain a finalist, but the search committee will now revisit the initial applicants and determine which of those should become the second finalist. She was unsure how long that might take.
“We’re fortunate in that we have some time to take this slowly,” she said. “[Interim CEO] Mike [Haynes] has agreed to stick around longer, if needed. We want to take our time and do this process the correct way.”
Haynes became CEO on an interim basis in September 2011, shortly after the resignation of then-Executive Director Ken Bailey. Haynes’ original final day was slated to be March 1.
“I am happy to continue my services to the Bainbridge-Decatur County YMCA as interim CEO,” he said. “I want to be sure that our search committee and board of directors have the best possible finalists for this important position.
“I’m doing this in the best interests of our supporters, our donors and our members.”
Haynes said normally interim CEOs serve “four to six months,” and he is currently in his sixth month. However, he said he is willing to stay for another “60 to 90 days.”
“I’m staying because I want to make sure we do this right,” he said. “I don’t want to see the Y go backward by rushing this process. I want to see it continue to go forward, and we are definitely moving in the forward direction.”
The full text of Jones’ statement is as follows:
“Over the last few days, I have had reservations and struggled with myself whether to move forward in the interview process for the YMCA CEO position. I really appreciate the YMCA and what it means to this community and have proudly served as a past-president and am presently an active member. I decided to apply for the job because I felt my various experiences in leading organizations and the relationships I have built here in Decatur County could be an asset to the YMCA.
“However, I have never taken a job without being 100 percent sure that it is something I would be passionate about, and fully committed to all aspects of the work. If I was chosen to get the job, and went in with any reservations, it would be a mistake and would not be fair to the YMCA, community or my family. I regret the timing of this matter, but ask the search committee and Board of Directors to remove my name from further consideration.
“I appreciate being allowed to interview but I do feel this decision is in the best interest of everyone concerned. I wish the new CEO the best of luck and I will continue to be a strong supporter of the Bainbridge-Decatur County YMCA.”