Shannon Burhans

Portage Township YMCA President/CEO Shannon Burhans 


PORTAGE — Shannon Burhans, a Portage native, has been named the Portage Township YMCA's new president and chief executive officer.

She replaces Amber Alexander, who left to work at a YMCA in Arizona. Burhans was on the YMCA’s board of directors and was serving as vice chairperson when Alexander resigned in early August. Since then, Burhans has volunteered her time to help manage the YMCA’s day-to-day operations under the direction of interim CEO Larry Hemdal.

Burhans was named one of Northwest Indiana's "20 under 40" by The Times, an Outstanding Public Citizen by Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce and Distinguished Club President by Kiwanis International.

Burhans graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in communications.

"When you have someone as passionate about the Y as Shannon is, the decision to put the Y in her care is an easy one. It’s a new chapter for the Portage Y, and the board anticipates Shannon putting her own lasting mark on the organization as the Y continually drives its cause to nurture youth, strengthen families and improve health and wellness across the Portage Township area," said Andrea Starling, YMCA board chairperson.

"I am anxious to continue — and build upon — the growth and success the Y has experienced under the leadership of our past CEOs," Burhans said. "I am committed to and will work hand-in-hand with our strong board of directors, donors, volunteers and staff to deliver on our Y mission to strengthen the foundation of our community."

A welcome reception for Burhans will be held at the Portage Township YMCA on Nov. 17, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The public is invited.

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Porter County reporter

Joyce has been a staff writer for The Times for more than 20 years. She is the municipal and education reporter for Porter County. She is an amateur genealogist and writes a blog, Remember your Roots, appearing online each Thursday.