The Power of Presence


February, 2018


One of the key strategies in the work of the US Mission Network is to establish a presence at YMCA events around the country.

Our National Director, Larry Whittlesey, invests a good deal of his time visiting YMCA conferences, state alliance meetings, AYP events and local YMCAs. Other key leaders on our Board and Ministry Cabinet serve as speakers, breakout leaders and key participants in such meetings. Together we are creating a presence within the larger movement that is being noticed and making an impact.

Here are a few comments that came via email following recent events.


“It is encouraging to see you at the conference and it is through those relationships that we will be able to grow the support for what the US Mission Network is trying to do. I also appreciate your work on this and will continue to support it as I am able. Thank you for what you do to preserve and advancing our mission and heritage. It needs to continue to be what we do every day.”

—Kathy Finney, Resource Director
YMCA of the USA


“I’m happy that leaders in the movement see the importance of having someone like you on our team. I hope in the near future, we’ll find ourselves supporting your mission as well.”

—Michael Bodenhausen, CEO
YMCA of Northwest Florida


“It’s awesome to know that you all are in the YMCA working to advance the true mission of the YMCA. I hopeful that in the future we’ll work together on whatever the Lord lays on our hearts. Missouri holds a special place for the US Mission Network!”

—Matthew Jones, CEO
Grand River Area Family YMCA


“Larry, I remain impressed that you are so faithful to attend the Y-USA events. Being present and available is important to help build access, credibility and trust with Y folks … kinda like a pastor, right? … I continue to encourage my Ys to lift up Christ whenever they can while reminding them of the USMN. I will continue to pray for the USMN and its important work, Larry. Blessings as you continue to be the face of that work!”

—John C. Alexander, Resource Director
YMCA of the USA


“What I experienced in your visit and presentation at the Virginia Alliance was stunning. You received an authentic and sustained standing applause. First, well done. We do need this kind of presentation and inspiration throughout our movement of what the mission can look like and why it is important.

“I do know that many Y’s are looking for resources, guides, tools and mentorship of “how to.” Along with that many leaders are weary and just need to be revived, such as the national conference.”

—Tim Joyce, CEO
YMCA of Greater Richmond


“Appreciate your leadership and partnership in further weaving in faith and Christianity within our efforts to foster space for connectivity across all segments of communities served by the Y through our national meetings and events. Much work ahead of us.

“… we sincerely appreciate your continued partnership and advocacy in elevating this important conversation as YUSA continues to explore our national conference and event strategy …”

—Chad Nico Hiu, Director, Diversity & Inclusion
YMCA of the USA