Chief Executive Officer

Full Time


Chief Executive Officer
State YMCA of Michigan

Headquarters: Central Lake, Michigan

Organizational Background

Established more than a century ago in 1894, the State YMCA of Michigan has transformed the lives of countless youth through camping and youth leadership programming. Its mission is to provide programs for youth, teens, and families which put Judeo-Christian principles into practice to build healthy spirits, minds, and bodies. The independent YMCA is based in the beautiful northwest Michigan region, and it is operated under the guidance of a nine-member Board of Directors. The State YMCA of Michigan programming includes the Hayo-Went-Ha camp programs and Youth in Government.

The organization’s youth camping programs are located in Northern Michigan. They include Camp Hayo-Went-Ha (where the central State YMCA offices are located), Camp Arbutus Hayo-Went-Ha, Camp Hayo-Went-Ha Sparks Day Camp, and the Hayo-Went-Ha Camps Outdoor Education program. The camps are guided by a Branch Board and a full-time, year-round staff of six. Seasonal staff and campers come from across the US and the world to attend these camps.

Camp Hayo-Went-Ha for boys is located on 600 acres on the shores of Torch Lake. It is the oldest YMCA boys’ camp on the same site in the world. It offers age-appropriate adventure programs that last two or four weeks. Also located at Torch Lake is the Hayo-Went-Ha Sparks Day Camp for boys and girls 5 to 10 years of age, and outdoor education programming for Michigan students of all ages.

Camp Arbutus Hayo-Went-Ha for girls is located on 80 acres on Arbutus Lake, which is southeast of Traverse City. Much like the boys’ camp, the girls’ camp is over 100 years old and is rich in history and tradition. The State YMCA of Michigan purchased it in 1996. Camp Arbutus offers diverse camping experiences for girls and young women, including sailing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, archery, arts and crafts, and many other activities.

Youth leadership programming is offered through the Michigan Youth in Government program. Founded in 1949, students come from all across the state to the Capitol in Lansing for hands-on leadership engagement. The program provides Michigan middle school and high school students the opportunity to practice civic engagement and democracy through a model-government program. This program is guided by a Branch Board and a full-time, year-round staff of three. Presently, this program is exploring the feasibility of leaving the State YMCA of Michigan and moving to another Michigan YMCA. Should this action be approved, the CEO will be expected to help make this a successful transition.

To learn more about the State YMCA of Michigan, the camps, and Michigan Youth in Government, please visit,, and

Position Summary

The State YMCA of Michigan is seeking a seasoned, highly skilled, mature, and empathetic person to provide vision, leadership, and operational oversight of all aspects of the organization. The CEO will work with the Board of Directors and the branch boards as well as staff, volunteers, and other stakeholders to set strategic direction and stabilize operations for future sustainability and growth. The CEO will provide overall leadership for strategy and implementation, staff and organizational development, operations, financial oversight, and, critically, fundraising. The individual must be an outstanding communicator able to unify multiple perspectives for the achievement of the organization’s mission. The CEO should also have extensive knowledge, leadership experience, and a passion for the mission of camping and youth development.

In addition to these skills and priorities, the State YMCA of Michigan seeks a person committed to honoring and maintaining the heritage and rich past practices of the 100+ year organization. The CEO must be able to adroitly balance the strong sense of attachment to the organization’s legacy – to which many of its constituents feel deeply connected – with the need to best serve the youth of today, consistent with the State YMCA’s mission.


Leadership and Vision
  • With the Board of Directors, establish a clear vision and strategic pathway for the stabilization and growth of the State YMCA of Michigan.
  • Demonstrate maturity, empathy, and understanding to cultivate genuine relationships with a diverse range of staff and participants who come from all over the world, long-time funders, and board members.
  • Leverage the enthusiasm and passion for the organization’s history, mission, and services that result in the development of a culture of mutual respect and cross-program collaboration.
  • Serve as an effective and visible spokesperson for the State YMCA of Michigan, effectively articulating the organization’s history, mission, and programs.
  • Foster and strengthen relationships with alumni campers and Youth in Government participants, camper families, community neighbors, and partners.
Personnel Management
  • Provide leadership and direction to all staff and ensure the continued development and management of the organization.
  • Offer decisive and robust management skills and have the ability to lead through conflict and adversity successfully.
  • Motivate and maintain a cohesive staff, ensuring that there is strong internal communication and coordination; recruit new staff when appropriate; and evaluate performance.
Revenue Generation and Fund Development
  • Maintain and expand the financial strength of the organization through capital and operational fundraising and other revenue-generating activities.
  • Implement marketing and other attraction strategies to increase enrollment in the camps and other youth activities.
  • Demonstrate extensive nonprofit fundraising experience, including major gift solicitations, event planning, annual fund and direct mail campaigns, and corporate and foundation grants.
  • Substantially grow the endowment over time to better position the organization to weather future unexpected storms.
Board Relations
  • Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board of Directors and the Branch Boards, and ensure open communication about the measurement of financial, programmatic, and impact performance against stated milestones and goals.
  • Collaborate with the board to develop, refine, and implement an organizational strategic plan.
  • Work with the board to identify and help recruit new board members who will add diversity to the board and whose talents, interests, and commitment will help to further the State YMCA of Michigan’s mission.
Finance and General Operations
  • Oversee the organization’s fiscal health and integrity by developing long- and short-range financial plans and annual budgets, disseminate regular financial statements that informatively describe the financial condition of the organization, and ensure sound financial controls.
  • Establish effective decision-making processes that will enable the organization to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives.
  • Work with staff and volunteers to build and advance programming, including the development of new program ideas and facilitation of current programs to work more effectively together and create organizational efficiencies.
  • Oversee organizational risk management, including personal safety of campers, youth, and staff; maintenance and repair of facilities and other fixed assets; and general and professional liability.

Professional Qualifications And Experience

The CEO should have the following experience and qualifications:
  • Proven successful leadership, managerial, team building, and financial management experience at an executive level within camping and youth-serving institutions.
  • Ability to envision and convey the organization’s strategic future and growth to staff, board, volunteers, and donors.
  • A successful track record of fundraising from a variety of sources. Major donor experience is preferred.
  • Change agent – effective leadership with the ability to “bring others along.” Can motivate and influence individuals and groups.
  • Experience listening to and communicating with diverse groups and demonstrated success in communicating effectively in writing and verbally.
  • 7-10 years of senior leadership experience demonstrating increasing responsibilities and a Bachelor’s degree are minimum requirements.
Personal Characteristics or Attributes

Ideally, the CEO will be the following:
  • Personally committed and passionate about advancing the State YMCA of Michigan’s values, mission, goals, and programs.
  • A servant-leader who empowers the organization’s employees first and who is dedicated to following the four core values of the YMCA – Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility – and the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Passionate for camping, youth development, youth voice, and youth leadership.
  • A hands-on team player who inspires collaboration, shares information readily, listens intently and respects the perspectives and abilities of others.
  • A transparent leader with executive gravitas who is also charismatic, strategic, resourceful, mature, and politically astute.
  • An energetic person who can handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities; a self-starter who is eager to explore opportunities – often traveling to meet with staff, alumni, funders, and partners across the region.
Job Relationships

Relationship management is a crucial function of the position. The CEO will have frequent contact with diverse stakeholders from across Michigan, the country, and the world. Stakeholders include youth and young adults, camp and Youth in Government alumni, school professionals and educators, corporations, private philanthropy, national and other YMCAs from across Michigan, and local community partners.

YMCA Organizational Leader Certification

The individual selected to serve as the CEO will need to earn the YMCA Organizational Leader Certification. The Leadership Certification is a credentialing process specific to the YMCA and is based on its competency model for CAUSE-DRIVEN LEADERSHIP®. The Organizational Leader Certification is the highest of 5 levels of certification based on the progressive levels of leadership responsibility defined by the YMCA's competency model. Each level of certification has distinct requirements, which may include formal training courses on required topics, electives, pre-requisites, experiences, and a competency test. Recertification is required every five years. YMCA CEOs are required to earn the Organizational Leader Certification within three years of being hired or promoted.


The CEO will receive a competitive salary and a full benefits package. The selected candidate must be willing to relocate to Northern Michigan.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

State YMCA of Michigan is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates.

Application Process

To apply for this position, please submit your cover letter and resume electronically (see link below) to Gretchen Kunkel at The Moran Compan. The cover letter is required and should align the applicant's skills and background with the requirements presented in this posting. Also, applicants are strongly encouraged to highlight their experiences and qualifications with camping or youth-serving organizations.

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