Rowan, Cannon YMCAs to Merge

The boards of directors of the YMCA of Rowan County and Cannon Memorial YMCA of Cabarrus County have voted to merge effective January 1, 2020. The new Association will be called Rowan-Cabarrus YMCA.

The merger follows successful shared services between the organizations that have been ongoing since 2013. A task force of board members representing both Ys recommended the merger after months of positive dialogue and planning. Final details of the merger will be completed over the coming months. YMCA of Rowan County CEO Jamie Morgan becomes President and CEO of the new YMCA beginning in January 2020, which coincides with the retirement of Cannon Memorial YMCA CEO Ron Davis.

“Blending the efforts of our YMCAs makes great sense,” says Davis. “We began working together six years ago to maximize our resources. Our teams are already working together and the direction of proven leader Jamie Morgan will ensure a smooth transition for members, participants and volunteers.” Leaders say the history, culture and values of the two Ys are perfectly matched and the relationship between staff and volunteers is positive and strong.

Collectively, the Ys will serve more than 53,000 adults and children and employ more than 670 staff with an annual operating budget of $12 million.

“This merger is the coming together of two equals. Combining these successful YMCAs in this growing region creates opportunities for us to deepen our impact and become better together as one,” says Shane Wolford, YMCA of Rowan County board chair.

“Together, we will be positioned  to make a huge difference in our communities. We will be able to expand our base of volunteers, donors and partners to transform lives and impact youth.  The YMCA is more than just a place to work out.  At the Y, we help build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all with the core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility at the heart of everything we do,” says Rob Betler, Cannon Memorial YMCA board chair.

The two volunteer boards of directors will combine to provide oversight to the Rowan-Cabarrus YMCA. The new Y will serve the area with six branch locations:

  • J. Fred Corriher Jr. YMCA, China Grove
  • J.F. Hurley Family YMCA, Salisbury
  • Saleeby-Fisher YMCA, Rockwell
  • Cannon YMCA – West Cabarrus, Concord
  • Cannon YMCA – Harrisburg
  • Cannon YMCA - Kannapolis

“We are excited about expanding our footprint,” says Morgan. “But we remain committed to responding to the specific needs and honor the special qualities of each unique community within our reach and to elevate our Christian mission.”


Why are Cannon Memorial YMCA and YMCA of Rowan County merging?
The needs in our communities have never been greater. With focus and sensitivity to the adults and children we serve, the time is right to combine resources to advance our Christian mission, enhance the services we provide and increase our community impact. The two YMCAs have successfully shared staff and other resources since 2013. Cost savings associated with the merger will be significant, allowing us to make improvements and grow programs that give greater benefits to our community. Additionally, our Ys share common values and are equally committed to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

When will the merger be effective?
The merger is effective on January 1, 2020, but volunteers and staff teams are already working together to ensure a smooth transition for our staff, members and participants.

What will you be called?
On January 1, 2020, our two associations will be one organization named Rowan-Cabarrus YMCA.

Who will be in charge?
By joining together, we will see economies in our operations. The two separate volunteer boards of directors will combine and provide oversight to the new YMCA. Rob Betler (Cabarrus) will serve as board chair of the new association in 2020 and Shane Wolford (Rowan) will assume the board chair role in 2021.

Day-to-day operations will be directed by current YMCA of Rowan County CEO Jamie Morgan, who becomes President and CEO of the new YMCA on January 1, 2020. This coincides with the May 2020 retirement of Cannon Memorial YMCA CEO Ron Davis.

How will this affect current Y members and participants?
For the majority of members and participants, this will have no effect whatsoever. Many of the current participants understand that we are part of a single nationwide movement called the Y.

Will any staff lose their jobs?
We expect few changes in staff. As we do each year, our staff structure will be evaluated to ensure the highest quality, experience and safety in programs. As a larger YMCA, we can attract and retain great staff who develop and share best practices that will improve programs and services.

Is this happening because one or both of the Ys have financial or other problems?
No. Both associations are financially healthy and delivering effective and powerful impact in the communities they serve.

Will my membership category or rates change?
We are constantly reviewing our rates and categories to make sure we are providing the best membership options and access. We will make no changes in the first year. It is too early to speculate what changes may be made in the future.

What does this mean for my donations/contributions?
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, both Ys are vital in transforming local lives in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. We are committed to continuing to operate in a fiscally responsible manner and being good stewards of the funds entrusted to us.

While we believe that gifts with no restrictions are the most beneficial, we welcome donors to instruct us regarding how their donation should be used. Donations can still be designated to a Y branch or program. Endowment funds already given for a specific Y or county will not be co-mingled or redirected. 

Will you still be using local vendors? Could local vendors lose the Y’s business?
Many of our vendors are members, neighbors and volunteers. We will continue to use local vendors, while at the same time being good stewards of our financial resources.