The CEO of the YWCA Minneapolis has resigned after less than a year.
The YWCA said Michelle Basham resigned, effective Friday, citing personal reasons after giving notice to its board of directors Dec. 3. She started the job in January. Basham said she left voluntarily due to "governance challenges" at the nonprofit.
"I didn't feel it was a good fit for me," she said, adding that "it's a great organization with a great mission."
Board Chairwoman Jeninne McGee said Basham's tenure came "during an unprecedented time."
"She brought her energy and she took on a really hard job," McGee said. "We're really grateful for her leadership at a really difficult time."
First, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, closing child care and fitness centers, leading to some furloughs; 70% of the nonprofit's revenue comes from programs. Then the YWCA's board chairwoman, Kate Berman, died of a heart attack. And George Floyd's death spurred calls for racial justice and led to civil unrest. After a Target on Lake Street closed due to damage, Basham started a pop-up hub at the Midtown YWCA so people could get supplies.
Basham said the YWCA was also in the early phases of providing racial equity training to Minneapolis police and expanded community-based work in light of the closures of other programs.
Basham previously led the nonprofit Bridge for Youth for four years and was CEO of YWCA Delaware. In 1993, at the age of 19, she founded Avenues for Homeless Youth, the first shelter for youth experiencing homelessness in Minneapolis. At the YWCA, which has about a $22 million budget and nearly 600 employees, she replaced Luz María Frías, who held the top spot from 2016 to 2019.
McGee said the board hasn't discussed whether to conduct a search for a new CEO yet, adding that current leaders will run the YWCA.
Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141