You can have a good Y, with good staff, or even with great staff, but you can’t have a great Y without great volunteers.

Reid Thebault


Reid Thebault entered the YMCA in the late 1960s, during a period of significant social change. Beginning in Houston as a summer camp director under the mentorship of Gary Nichols, Mr. Thebault found in the YMCA a calling and a Movement that both validated his concern for social issues and provided an outlet to address them through collective action. In 1970, following his summer in Houston, Mr. Thebault worked for the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, where he learned the discipline under the tutelage of Curt Thompson. While at the Gateway Region YMCA (St. Louis), he immersed himself in learning programs, including coordinating approximately 300 Y-Indian Guides groups. In 1975, he returned to the YMCA of the Greater Houston Area, where, under the mentorship of Mr. Bev Laws, he came into his own.

In 1986, Mr. Thebault secured his first CEO position at the YMCA of Greater Dayton, where he applied his skills, orchestrated a tremendous turnaround of the organization’s operations, and eliminated the association’s debt. Following Dayton, he served a distinguished 20 years as CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit.

Mr. Thebault’s ability to cultivate strong, committed, and diversified boards is widely recognized by the YMCA Movement. As a result, his peers regularly sought his counsel and continue to do so following his retirement. During his tenure in Detroit, he successfully led the YMCA through a $100 million-capital development program, leaving the organization financially solid and well prepared to address the needs of its community.

Community and Board Service

In addition to his YMCA career, Mr. Thebault has remained active in his communities by serving the YMCA Retirement Fund as the vice chairman of the Board for 12 years, Redwoods Insurance Group as a member of the Board of Advisors, and North American Urban Group YMCAs as a former chair.


Mr. Thebault graduated from Saint Mary’s University, Minnesota (1968) with a BA in History and Political Science. He received his Juris Doctor in Law from South Texas College of Law, Houston (1980). In 1982, he completed course work at Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management.


‟ can accomplish just about anything.”


‟...what are these folks bringing to the table...”


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‟...the decision is for the benefit of all...”