We said that we don’t have the answers, necessarily, but we have the questions.

Carolyn Creager


Carolyn Creager came to the YMCA Movement as a second career. During her 14-year YMCA career, she made significant contributions to the YMCA Movement. In 1999, after a successful career in human resources with the University of New Mexico and a Wisconsin utility, Ms. Creager interviewed for the newly created position of Vice President of Human Resources-Shared Services for both St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota YMCAs. Ms. Creager was drawn to the YMCAs diverse and welcoming culture. After interviewing with Harold Mezile and Tom Brinsko, Ms. Creager knew she had found a home in the YMCA Movement. After two years with the Minneapolis and St. Paul YMCA and with the encouragement of Mr. Mezile, she joined the YMCA of the USA where she became a champion for cultivating talent from within the Movement.

Ms. Creager’s signature achievement is the development of multicultural YMCA staff. Through her pioneering work in forming the Multicultural Executive Development Institute (MEDI) and the Emerging Multicultural Leadership Experience (EMLE) among other programs, Ms. Creager directly affected the lives and careers of countless YMCA employees. Today these programs attract hundreds of individuals and are signature events in the YMCA’s efforts to advance equity. She credits her son Jason, who passed away in 1991, for her strength and resolve, and dedicated her YMCA career to his memory. A current scholarship in her name, The Carolyn Creager Multicultural Leadership Develop Fund, supports the cause of strengthening the YMCA Movement by advancing leadership equity through the Multicultural Leadership Development.

Community and Board Service

In addition to her YMCA career, Ms. Creager has remained active in communities by serving the Sioux YMCA, Board of Trustees; Greenwood Cemetery, board member; and Wood-Hogue Family Research and Reunion, organizer.


Ms. Creager received a bachelor of arts degree in History from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin (1986).


‟You’re asking us to help you stay accountable for the goals…”


‟I didn’t have that kind of energy to deal with that kind of negativity…”


‟Their career was lateral; they were not going up…”


‟That is—I get a lot of credit as the mother of EMLE…”