Jill Doerner
Mar 20, 2023

Congratulations Are In Order for Our Chief Learning Officer

YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago Chief Learning Officer, Jill Doerner, M. Ed., was recently recognized by her YMCA peers from across the United States as one of 2023’s YMCA “Women of Excellence.”

Doerner received the recognition during the annual Amplify Experience, a program and celebration hosted by YMCA of the USA’s (Y-USA) Women’s Leadership Resource Network (WLRN) each year on International Women’s Day. Y-USA’s WLRN is a nationwide network of female-identified Y professionals working to encourage personal growth and provide networking opportunities, professional development experiences, and space for employees to share knowledge and experiences.

In line with International Women’s Day 2023, the theme of this year’s Amplify Experience was #EmbraceEquity.

Doerner, who has served in a number of leadership roles at the YMCA of Metro Chicago since 1998, said she was humbled and honored by the recognition and further said, “I undoubtedly sit on the shoulders of giants who continue to fight for a gender-equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.”

The WLRN is one of six Y-USA-recognized Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that aim to advance diversity, inclusion, and global initiatives by providing targeted support to underrepresented communities. The five other Y-USA ERGs are the Emerging Leaders Resource Network, African-American Resource Network, LGBTQ Resource Network, Hispanic-Latino Leadership Network, and Asian Pacific Islander Leadership Network. Each of these groups has an associated local chapter at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. Staff from across the association are invited and welcome to participate in the national and/or local ERGs with which they identify personally or as an ally. 

A number of YMCA of Metro Chicago leaders are active in the leadership of the Y’s nationwide ERGs, including Doerner, who serves as Co-Chair of Y-USA’s WLRN, in addition to serving as the Executive Lead of the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s Employee Resource Groups.

According to Doerner’s nominator, “Jill is consistently involved and leading the charge to advocate for change within our association. She is never afraid to fight for what she believes is right, and she is wildly supportive of her team. It is clear that ‘the way it has always been’ does not sit well with her. Jill appreciates and fosters innovation and calculated risks.” 

In response to news of Doerner’s recognition, Y-USA’s Senior Director of Global Strategies and Services Mike Van Haelewyn said, “You have been a trail-blazer for community, and a model for other leaders!” Duluth YMCA CEO Sara Cole said, “This is so well deserved! I am grateful to know you and to work alongside you for a just and equitable world for all.”

Congratulations, Jill! Based on your longtime leadership at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago and as evidenced by the reactions of your colleagues and peers, this is a very well deserved recognition, indeed!