William E. Cameron
Bill Cameron began his tenure with the YMCA in the late 1950’s. While he was in high school, he worked for the Allentown, Pennsylvania, YMCA Boys Work department. There, under the mentorship of Roy Schlessman, the Boys Work secretary, he discovered his passion for service.
However, in spite of Mr. Schlessman’s encouragement to consider the YMCA as a career, Mr. Cameron spent the next 20 years outside of the YMCA. He was a pastor, active in the civil rights movement, worked in community-development organizations, and ultimately ran his own consulting practice. In 1977, in part as a result of running his own business and his previous experience working in communities, he was offered the job of CEO of his local YMCA, the North Penn Y.
In 1985, he became an executive with the Main Line YMCA (a branch of the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA). From 1988 through to his retirement in 2003, Mr. Cameron worked for the YMCA of the USA as a field consultant and director of the Management Resource Center (MRC) for Philadelphia and Vicinity. As an MRC Director, Mr. Cameron was responsible for providing training and support for 35 YMCAs comprising more than 100 individual branches. Finally, while working for the YMCA of the USA, Mr. Cameron developed a specialty for strategic planning. By bringing together staff and volunteers, he assisted many associations, large and small, to create a shared vision for how their YMCAs could best serve their communities.
Author and Awards
An author of more than 100 columns for Perspective magazine, Mr. Cameron eloquently communicated to both new and long-time staff what the YMCA has been, and is, about. His writings and training inspired countless YMCA professionals to appreciate the YMCA as a Movement. In 2005, his writings were compiled by the Association of Professional Directors (AYP today) into a book called The Last Word. For a number of years, this book was given to all YMCA Principles and Practices trainees. Mr. Cameron continues to write for the Association of YMCA Retirees.
Mr. Cameron has received significant recognition from the YMCA Movement. He received the Kuenzli-Hall award (AYP), had two awards for writing named in his honor, and in 2007 was inducted into the National YMCA Hall of Fame at Springfield College. Reflecting on his career, Mr. Cameron writes:
“That the YMCA and I found one another is a great blessing of my life.
My career not only enriched my life immeasurably, it also defined it.
I am still a Y guy, through and through.”
Community and Board Service
In addition to his YMCA career, Mr. Cameron has been active in his community through a variety of channels sharing his leadership, vision, and expertise. His involvement in organizations outside of the YMCA includes being President of the Lansdale Rotary Club, Vice President of the Association of YMCA Retirees (2011), Chair of the Luther Crest Retirement Community, Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Interim Pastor of the United Church of Christ in Warminster, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Cameron received a bachelor of arts degree from Lafayette College (1960) and a master's degree in Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary (1963).
‟We had mottos that meant something.”
‟...an organization that encourages creativity...”
‟...come to work because they believe they are preparing the next generation...”
‟I've met volunteers who would put almost anyone to shame...”
North Penn YMCA,
Main Line YMCA,
Field Consultant, YMCA of the USA, East Field Office, King of Prussia, PA
Director, Management Resource Center, YMCA of Philadelphia & Vicinity
AYP’s Kuenzli-Hall Award
YMCA of the USA, King of Prussia, PA
Author, The Last Word published by the Association of YMCA Professionals
Inducted into the National YMCA Hall of Fame,
Springfield College, MA
F. William Stahl Award, Association of YMCA Retirees