I would call execs and just talk with them about what was keeping them up at night.

Myrtis Meyer


Myrtis Meyer devoted her YMCA career to improving the Movement through rigorous study and critical analysis of it and its programs. Beginning as a Research Associate in 1980 at the YMCA of the USA, Ms. Meyer went on to become the Director of the Research and Planning department five years later—a position she held until her retirement in 2009. Under her tenure, the Research and Planning department grew considerably, expanding its role and becoming a critical department for Movement strengthening.

Through her work at the YMCA of the USA, Ms. Meyer was responsible for creating a myriad of surveys, systems, and tools that enabled YMCAs across the country to conduct their own research for planning purposes. These tools included community needs assessments, primary market analysis, form 990 compliance, economic impact, membership satisfaction, program participant satisfaction and staff engagement. Through these resources she led an effort to create a knowledge management system that enabled the YMCA Movement to leverage its collective wisdom and establish national best practices in the process.

Ms. Meyer had a very unique talent in delivering much of her analytics work to thousands of staff across the Movement. Her presentations helped motivate many YMCA leaders to develop relevant strategies to strengthen their YMCAs. Ms. Meyers also served on the Y-History Project for three years (2009-2012).

Community and Board Service

Prior to joining the YMCA, Ms. Meyer worked for the Chicago Urban League in their research department. In addition to her YMCA career, she is active in her community and freely shares her expertise. Her involvement in organizations outside of the YMCA includes serving as a board member for the Illinois Mentoring Partnership, volunteering at the Center for Economic Progress and the Jane Addams Resource Center, and serving as a Big Sister for Big Brothers – Big Sisters.


Ms. Meyer received a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Ohio State University (1975) and a master's degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago (1978).


‟I really did begin to feel patterns would set in...”


‟...the sort of collective wisdom of the best Y thinkers”


‟...implementing programs that create relationships”


‟...so important and what has made the Y very, very strong.”