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Durkin hired to operate YMCA in Morris

MORRIS – The Greater Joliet Area YMCA has hired a familiar face to run its Morris operation.

Missy Durkin has resigned as the Grundy Economic Development Center's business development director, effective after the holidays, and will become the operations director for the Morris Community YMCA in January.

"I'm very flattered and excited," Durkin said. "I was not out looking so when they approached me I thought it sounded like a great opportunity.

"It is going to be a challenge, but those can be very rewarding experiences," she continued.

Katy Leclair, the YMCA's chief operating officer, said the organization is thrilled to be bringing Durkin on board.

"We're really happy to have her leadership join our team," Leclair said.

Durkin's responsibilities will include building programs, and growing support and interest in Grundy County to have a YMCA in Morris, she said.

Durkin will work side-by-side with volunteers to assess how the Morris YMCA can best serve the residents of Morris and Grundy County, while introducing new fitness, child care, senior and youth programming.

"Under her leadership, the Y will look to partner with the residents of Grundy County to facilitate the grassroots efforts needed to open a full-facility YMCA in Morris," according to a news release from the YMCA.

One of her first priorities will be finding a temporary location for the YMCA to have a physical presence in Morris until it eventually builds a facility here.

Leclair said as the programs and demand for YMCA services build up in Grundy County, the plans to construct a facility in Morris will move forward.

The YMCA has 15 acres at U.S. 6 and Saratoga Road, most of which was donated.

Durkin has been with the GEDC since 2008. During her time there, she helped to oversee business attraction efforts that will represent $585 million of new investments and create more than 1,000 jobs in the County, according to a news release from the organization.

Nancy Norton Ammer, GEDC chief executive officer, said she is sad to see Durkin go and she will be greatly missed.

"It is good for the community that she is staying in the area, that's for sure," she said.

The GEDC will be hiring to fill the vacancy and in the meantime Ammer and office manager Nikki Wills will handle the business development responsibilities, Ammer said.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time and experience at the GEDC," Durkin said. "I learned a ton and about the value of the organization's contributions to the Grundy County community. It has been an invaluable experience to work there."

Before being part of the GEDC team, Durkin was the executive director of the Morris Downtown Development Partnership for six years.

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