Pastor Dennis of Evanston’s Second Baptist Church will replace Bill Geiger at McGaw Y.Submitted photo

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The McGaw YMCA board of directors has selected Mark A. Dennis Jr. as the organization’s new CEO and president from more than 80 applicants.
 
“Mark is a seasoned, skilled and compassionate visionary leader, proven throughout the Evanston community and beyond,” said Dan Israelite, McGaw YMCA board chair.  “With his acumen for leadership, we are confident that he will greatly advance the McGaw YMCA’s mission of strengthening the foundation of the Evanston community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.”
 
For the last 10 years, Mark Dennis has served as the senior pastor of Evanston’s historic Second Baptist Church – the oldest African American Baptist-based congregation on the North Shore and has collaborated with the community and the YMCA on such initiatives as Project SOAR, Pioneering Healthy Communities and Evanston Cradle to Career Initiative.

Pastor Dennis also served as president of The Alford Group, an Evanston-based national consulting firm serving the not-for-profit community and as associate
 dean for institutional advancement at Howard University School of Divinity. He holds several degrees from Howard University School of Divinity, Bowling Green State University and Morehouse College, and has completed doctoral coursework in professional/staff development at the University of Maryland.

The McGaw YMCA president/CEO position has been held for more than 10 years by Bill Geiger. Mr. Geiger submitted his resignation to the board of directors 18 months ago but, at the board’s request, agreed to stay to support enhanced community collaboration efforts until a highly qualified replacement was found. The McGaw YMCA and the community of Evanston remain grateful for Mr. Geiger’s leadership and commitment, said McGaw YMCA.
 
Pastor Dennis will transition to his new position over the remainder of 2014 to support smooth leadership changes at both the McGaw YMCA and Second Baptist Church.