Metro Milwaukee YMCA CEO to resign in June

Tolan oversaw debt restructuring plan

Julie Tolan, CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, will resign on June 30, the organization announced Tuesday.


Tolan joined the YMCA in 2013 and oversaw a dramatic restructuring plan to eliminate $30 million in debt the organization accrued over two decades. The YMCA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2014, sold 70 percent of its owned real estate assets and re-configured its revenue streams.

Earlier this year, Tolan volunteered to take a cut of roughly $125,000 in salary and benefits after the YMCA came up $1.5 million short of its $3.8 million fundraising goal.

“If there ever was a definition of the ‘right leader at the right time,’ Julie was it,” said Richard Canter, chairman of the board of directors of the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee. “Even when our challenges seemed insurmountable, Julie persevered thanks to her clarity of vision, strong sense of faith and courage to make the difficult, but necessary, decisions. On behalf of our board of directors, we thank Julie and wish her nothing but the very best in her future endeavors.”

The YMCA’s board of directors is forming a special committee to find a replacement for Tolan, who will continue to lead the organization over the next four months.

“Among our biggest accomplishments over the past few years was how our community came together to proclaim the Y matters and is worth saving,” Tolan said in a prepared statement. “I am forever grateful to them, our team and our board for the way in which we all pulled together to address our challenges, and put the Y on the path to a more sustainable future. While the time is nearing for me to recharge and consider my next chapter, I will forever support the mission of the Y and advocate for others in our community to do the same.”

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Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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