After 11 years with the YMCA of Greater San Antonio, president and CEO Sandy Morander has announced her retirement, which will be effective in December. 

During her time as CEO, Morander opened several new facilities in the San Antonio area, including the Y Living Center, Thousand Oaks Family YMCA, Walzem Family YMCA and Harvey E. Najim Family YMCA,  and expanded the organization’s programming in the surrounding cities of Schertz, Cibolo and New Braunfels. Also during her tenure, the YMCA in San Antonio launched Síclovía, an event that takes over some Southtown streets and promotes health and exercise.

“While we are sad to see Sandy go, the board also understands that we were lucky to benefit from 11 years of her leadership. We also want to assure our community that we have a good process in place to find a new leader who will serve our community with the same passion as Sandy did,” said Manish Kapoor, YMCA of Greater San Antonio’s board chair.

Morander and her husband Ron “plan to start a new chapter” with a family consulting business called The Morander Group, according to a press release about the transition.

The San Antonio-area YMCA will quickly begin the search for a new CEO, said Brad McDonald, a board member and chair of transition committee, and the search will consider local, regional and national candidates, as well as those who aren’t already affiliated with the YMCA.

In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the YMCA under Morander’s leadership provided essential needs and services to the community, according to the press release. Those services included childcare for essential workers, free food for the youth, emergency food boxes, remote learning, Wi-Fi access points at all branches and an emergency respite center. Four YMCA locations provided over 700,00 pounds of food to over 13,000 families in the community at the time, the release said.

Aside from her work with the YMCA, Morander has been an active participant in many community organizations including the Mayor’s Fitness Council, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, the Metro Health Community Advisory and the Texas Diabetes Institute, where she received the Community Leadership Award from the Health Collaborative.

Disclosure: Shannon Gowen, senior director of mission advancement and communications for the YMCA, is the wife of San Antonio Report Photo Editor Scott Ball.

Ava Flores is a Scripps Howard Foundation Emerging Journalist intern and a rising senior at the International School of the Americas in San Antonio.