Y-USA Seeks New CEO, Nicoll To Step Down

June 24, 2014       Mark Hrywna      

Neil Nicoll, the president and CEO of the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) since 2005, will step down at the end of the year, just shy of a decade leading one of the nation’s largest nonprofit organizations. He’ll stay with the organization as president emeritus.

A search committee has been established and it is projected a successor will be selected by the board this fall. It is expected that the successor is already in the YMCA system.

Nicoll joins a growing list of CEOs who recently have left some of the nation’s largest and most influential charities. Within the last year, chief executives have left or announced plans to leave American Cancer Society, AARP, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, AmeriCares, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Harlem Children’s Zone, Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Gates Foundation, Clinton Foundation, The Ad Council, NPR, and NAACP, among others.

“The Y is one of our nation’s vital institutions. From the disparity in academic achievement among children of different backgrounds, to high rates of chronic disease and obesity, to increasing social isolation, we are tackling some of the most pressing issues facing communities across the country in purposeful, innovative ways,” Nicoll said via a statement announcing his plans. “Continuing and elevating this work will require committed leadership over a number of years. I realize that I cannot make this commitment and also have the time I want to spend with family and to pursue other interests that have been postponed over the years. Stepping aside is the right decision for me and the Y Movement,” he said.

Based in Chicago, Ill., Y-USA reported total revenue for the national office of almost $118 million last year and serves as a national resource office for some 2,700 groups nationwide. The Y system generated $6.2 billion last year. Nicoll earned total compensation of $513,054 last year, including base compensation of $469,465.

Nicoll started at the YMCA in 1968 as program director at the Howard County branch of the YMCA of Greater Baltimore. Before joining Y-USA, he spent 14 years as president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Seattle. He also led the YMCA of Greater Worcester, Mass. for 12 years, the Prince Georges County branch of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. for six years, and the Dorchester branch of the YMCA of Greater Boston for three years.

Nicoll has been selected to The NonProfit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50 in each of the past four years. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Mass., and a master’s degree from Springfield College.