Two top executives for the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee have volunteered to take substantial pay cuts after the organization came up $1.5 million short of its $3.8 million fundraising goal.
In a news release on Jan. 15, the YMCA announced it will cut $1.7 million in operating expenses this year to compensate for the funding gap by eliminating 15 full-time and part-time positions, cutting the Y's Diabetes prevention program and ending the organization's affiliation with the Well City Milwaukee initiative.
Chief Executive Officer Julie Tolan and Chief Operations Officer Jack Takerian will take salary and benefit cuts that will save the YMCA an estimated $150,000. Tolan volunteered to take a cut of about $125,000, making her total compensation in salary and benefits roughly $188,000, and Takerian volunteered to take a cut of about $29,000, making his total compensation in salary and benefits roughly $116,000, according to Lynn Sheka, an account director for Reputation Partners, a public relations firm that represents the YMCA.
"These actions, while difficult, are the result of a deliberate and thoughtful analysis of our overall operations in light of our funding gap and the environment in which we operate,” Tolan said. “Rather than make marginal cuts that further weaken the organization, we instead made the hard choice to eliminate select initiatives that while worthy and impactful, simply are not self-sustaining. We are deeply sorry for the impact these difficult decisions will have on our colleagues and those we serve, and are committed to doing whatever we can to ease this difficult transition.”
The YMCA has struggled financially for years. The organization filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2014 after accruing $30 million in debt over two decades. To recover from bankruptcy, the nonprofit devised a dramatic restructuring plan that included refocusing the scale of its mission, selling off 70 percent of its owned real estate assets and re-configuring its revenue streams.