Glen Gunderson is president of the YMCA of the North, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. He is responsible for leading the third largest YMCA in the United States and the fourth largest in the world. In the state of Minnesota, the Y is the largest nonprofit provider of child care, the largest camp operator, the largest nonprofit employer and one of the largest providers of health and well-being services. Gunderson has led key initiatives including launching the UnitedHealth Group Equity Innovation Center, building the George Wellbeing Center and expanding camp and nature programming. He is a recognized leader in the YMCA movement, particularly respected for his perspectives on innovation and on diversity and inclusion initiatives. Gunderson serves on the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) National Diversity and Inclusion Council and is on the YUSA National Board of Directors.
Prior to serving the Y, Glen was chief business officer for RedBrick Health and a senior executive at Life Time Fitness. He holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College. Glen serves on Orthology, Inc.'s board of directors and is a board advisor for social enterprise, Engine for Good. He previously served for 11 years on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities and was named a member of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Most Admired CEOs 2020 and Twin Cities Business Journal's 40 under 40 for his business and community leadership.
Why the Y?
“Before joining the Y, I knew it only for its ‘gym and swim’ attributes – but the Y is so much more. What I find while visiting our sites and surveying members of the community is profound: those connected to and engaged in the Y are passionate and convicted, and their words about the Y are layered in love and loyalty. I love working with our teams to deliver the transformational impact of the Y and to discover opportunities to expose more in our community to that impact.
One area that particularly inspires me is the Y’s Teen Thrive model, which blends our myriad of amazing youth-serving programs to raise up cause-driven leaders. Studies show that teens who participate in after school activities are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. The Y involves youth voice and youth choice to offer a variety of leadership opportunities for young people to inspire positive community change and prepare for postsecondary education and the workforce.
One of these opportunities is Center for Youth Voice, which exposes youth to civic leadership and empowers them through self-expression, teamwork and advocacy. I've never met a Center for Youth Voice participant that hasn't literally blown me away. Egeziharya’s Story shows us one example – this young woman embraces every opportunity that comes her way and has built skills that will serve her for a lifetime. When we invest in our young people, we invest in our future – and the Y is committed to building cause-driven leaders for many years to come.”