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YMCA Membership and Programs Group records

Identifier: Y.USA.75

Content Description

Records of the YMCA's Membership and Programs department comprise work in YMCA's three strategic programming areas of healthy living, youth development, and character development, as well as member support. The majority of the material concerns work related to health-related initiatives, especially the Gulick Project, Activate America, and diabetes, cancer, and childhood obesity prevention, and child care. The collection includes many manuals, training materials, and program guides, and includes both analog / paper-based records and digital / electronic files in a variety of formats. The collection includes a separate series of files of Jonathan Lever, who was appointed Chief Membership and Program Officer in February 2016 and led the Healthy Living and Activate America initiatives before that. Also in the collection are files of Valerie Lawson, a member of Lever's team and Y-USA's Director of Discovery, Development and Improvement and Healthy Family Home.

The collection also includes records concerning the YMCA Volleyball Hall of Fame, which operated under the umbrella of the Membership and Programs and various predecessor departments.


  • 2001-2018


Conditions Governing Access

The digital files in this collection are stored on an internal server and available upon request for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room or remotely. Please contact the YMCA Archives to arrange access to these materials.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Historical Background

YMCA of the USA's Membership and Programs group was established in 2016 under the leadership of Jonathan Lever to to oversee strategic planning across the areas of healthy living, youth development, character development, and membership. Lever first came to the YMCA in 2005 as National Director of the Activate America program and went on to serve as Vice President for Health Strategy and Innovation / Healthy Living in 2010. During his tenure he oversaw the YMCA's entry into evidence-based chronic disease prevention and health care programming. Under his leadership the YMCA developed a pioneering group-based diabetes prevention program eligible for reimbursement from commercial health insurers, Medicare, and Medicaid. Valerie Lawson joined the YMCA of the USA in 2007 as Directory of Discovery, Development and Improvement in support of the Healthy Living programs. Her work focused on overseeing research to identify potential programs, assess their scalability and sustainability, and pilot them.

The YMCA Volleyball Hall of Fame was established by the YMCA of the USA in 1995, in conjunction with the 100th anniversary celebration of the invention of the sport by the Y. It operated under the umbrella of Membership and Programs and its predecessor departments.


16.2 Cubic Feet (17 boxes)

13.15 Gigabytes (6250 electronic files)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The digital portion of this collection consists predominantly of PDF and Microsoft Office file formats. It also contains some graphical files (mainly .jpg) as well as a few email, HTML, video, and other miscellaneous file formats.

Other Finding Aids

A complete listing of the individual digital files included in the collection is available from the Kautz Family YMCA Archives.

Processing Information

Original digital file formats were retained in most cases but efforts were made to convert some of the less common proprietary file types to more accessible formats when possible.

Includes accession numbers Y20170503, Y20180522, Y20180723, Y20180817, Y20180905

Catalog Record ID number: 9977316608601701

Membership and Program Group
An Inventory of its Records
Lara Friedman-Shedlov
October 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Kautz Family YMCA Archives Collecting Area