I honestly started working for the Y
to be of service to people.

John Flynn


John Flynn spent nearly 40 years in the YMCA Movement, developing a reputation as a leader and innovator. His YMCA roots, however, stretch back to his youth, when he and his siblings participated in YMCA youth programs at the YMCA. Mr. Flynn joined the YMCA professional ranks in 1978 when, at the age of 25, he joined the Greater Holyoke YMCA as Executive Director. There, he turned around a struggling YMCA and discovered his passion for the Movement. After Greater Holyoke, Mr. Flynn served at the Schenectady, New York, and Albany, New York, YMCAs before ending his career at the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA.

During his career, he led massive capital campaigns that raised in excess of $100 million. He leveraged his and the YMCA’s credibility to merge with YMCAs, community-based non-profits, and government entities in order to strengthen the YMCA Movement and form the Capital District YMCA and the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA. His most significant career achievement may be his influence on the many current YMCA leaders who were encouraged to grow in the YMCA as a result of Mr. Flynn’s passion for staff development.

Service Leadership

Prior to his YMCA career, Mr. Flynn worked as a social worker for the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare. In addition to his YMCA career, he has strengthened communities through service at the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ellis Hospital, State University of New York at Albany, and the City of Holyoke where he served on the City Council.


Mr. Flynn received a bachelor of science degree from Springfield College (1990) and attended Loyola University (Montreal, Canada) where he studied Business Administration.


‟...when we made mistakes we learned by them.”


‟...started working for the Y to be of service to people.”


‟...when it's healthy and when it's making a difference...”


‟The YMCA really means to me that it builds character.”