I think what’s important to know is how amazingly powerful a YMCA presence is in a community.

Michael Bussey


Mike Bussey has lived a YMCA career inspired and enriched by his Christian faith. His YMCA career began at the age of 15 when he has hired to be a day camp counselor for YMCA Camp Christmas Tree (YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities). Through that first-day camp position, Mr. Bussey discovered his passion for working with youth. He continued to work at YMCA camps through college and upon graduation found himself torn between a career in line with his degree (business administration) and one as rewarding as his time working at YMCA camps. Ultimately, after meeting with a mentor, he was encouraged to apply for a Northwest branch program director position with the St. Paul, MN YMCA.

After four years with Northwest YMCA, and learning of his options to serve through the YMCA, Mr. Bussey was accepted to move to Nazareth, Israel as a Young Professional Abroad through the World Service Department. During his two years in Nazareth, Mr. Bussey served as the Sports Director, supported day camp activities, and immersed himself in the language and culture. In 1977, he returned to the United States and secured a position with St. Paul YMCA as the Camp Director for YMCA Camp St. Croix. Mr. Bussey excelled at Camp St. Croix, leveraging his education in business and his practical experience working with youth in a camp setting towards cultivating leadership and resources for the betterment of the camp. His success fundraising for Camp St. Croix led to his promotion to Development Officer for the St. Paul YMCA.

During his time at St. Paul Mr. Bussey had accepted several national level responsibilities including coordinating World Camp, serving as director for YMCA of the USA Middle East support unit. In 1990 he accepted an opportunity to join the Jerusalem International YMCA as the Director-General. He served in Jerusalem for eight years during which the first Gulf War took place. During this challenging time, Mr. Bussey exemplified the commitment of the YMCA to serve the community by remaining in Jerusalem during the war years. In 1999, he returned to the United States joining the YMCA of the USA in the International Division and later the National Development Team, strengthening the capacity of mid-west YMCAs to cultivate a culture of philanthropy. In 2008 in the midst of a national restructure Mr. Bussey was sent to Jerusalem to address a series of issues and to onboard new leadership. He returned in 2009 and joined the consulting firm Donor by Design where he continues to work.

Community and Board Service

In addition to his YMCA career, Mr. Bussey has remained active in communities by serving on the Friends of the Jerusalem International YMCA, Founder and Board Chair; Gustavus Adolphus College, Chair - College Alumni Board; Anglican International School, Jerusalem, Israel, Board Chair; Glen Ellyn Evangelical Covenant Church, Chair Leadership Team - Chair Missions Committee; Rotary International, Member - Board Member of Rotary Clubs in Hudson, WI, St. Paul, MN and Jerusalem, Israel; Pilgrim Center for Recognition, Edina, MN, Board Chair; Colonial Church, Edina, MN, Chairman of the Missions Committee - Member of the Deacon Board - Chairman of the Church Council; and Jerusalem Pastors Group, Jerusalem, Israel, Member and Chairman.


Mr. Bussey received a degree in Business Administration, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN (1969), as well as pursued coursework in Biblical Prolegomena, Bethel Seminary, Shoreview, MN (1974), Historical and Geographical Setting of the Bible, Institute of Holy Land Studies, Jerusalem, Israel (1977), as well as a Certificate in Fundraising Management, The Fundraising School, Indiana University (2008). Mr. Bussey received the Distinguished Alumni Award in International Relations from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1998.


‟…coexistence, and people were able to find common ground.”


‟…a really great way to invest your life and your time.”


‟…wherever there’s a YMCA, it’s amazingly powerful.”


‟…it’s very, very important to think big…”