YMBL President's Mid-Year Report

10 Aug 2018 4:18 PM | Gordon Moore (Administrator)

Gentlemen of the League,

Serving as president of YMBL & ASC is not just an honor and a privilege but it’s an immense responsibility to carry forward a 105-year legacy of cultivating today’s young professionals into tomorrow’s community leaders while also ensuring the safety and prosperity of Austin Sunshine Camps. It’s a responsibility I’m humbled to assume and I remain committed to serving these organizations to the best of my ability and always with their best interests at heart.     

Now halfway through my tenure as president, I’m pleased to provide the following report of the state of YMBL & ASC along with an outlook for the remainder of the year.


Led by Danny McKinley, YMBL is making great strides to improve the quality of membership and engagement opportunities for our alumni to remain connected to our organizations. We’re hosting quarterly happy hour events, improving the consistency of our communications, and recalibrating our efforts to reflect the kind of engagement alumni seek with our organizations.

As we celebrate YMBL’s 105th year as an Austin institution, we’re also gearing up for an outstanding Legacy Bash this Fall, which is our annual event honoring YMBL alumni. Contact Casey Kelley (caseyhkelley@gmail.com) should you have interest in attending, sponsoring, or volunteering at this event.  

  • Carrying forward (past president) Daniel Becka’s directive to “share our story,” we have launched new initiatives to more effectively communicate our message both internally and externally through email and social media content.
  • Speaker Series - Our monthly speaker series continues to feature impressive business and community leaders such as Alex Williamson, Chief Brand Officer at Bumble; Jan Ryan, Director of Creative Entrepreneurship and Innovation at University of Texas; and Ron Favaron, Chairman & CEO at Spredfast.

  • Website & Technology - As our organization matures, so must our infrastructure. Earlier this year, we implemented automation tools to streamline the onboarding process for new members and enhance our communication efforts through campaigns and analytics. We have also worked alongside a group of University of Texas students to build an app that will enable us to track member participation and engagement and take proactive, data-driven measures to ensure we’re offering a valuable membership experience.


  • Zilker Lodge - Preserving our multi-million dollar assets in the heart of Zilker Park and on Lake Travis is one of the most critical responsibilities our organization holds. Over the past year, we’ve built out a building operations manual to fully understand the unique needs of our facilities and developed a proactive plan for both maintenance and upkeep of our most precious asset.  

  • Capital Investments Fund - At the tail end of 2017, the YMBL board of directors established a capital investments fund as a mechanism for ensuring capital reserves for emergency maintenance and strategic investments in our facilities in Zilker Park and Lake Travis. Alongside ASC CEO, Erica Blue, I am developing a comprehensive plan that will govern the use and access of these funds and establish a sustainable framework for replenishment and growth of the fund, which we intend to present to the board for approval within the coming months.  


Our annual individual fundraising campaign is one of our oldest and most treasured initiatives as YMBL Men because it generates roughly the equivalent of one-third of ASC’s annual revenue. Not only is this an important skill we bestow upon members as community leaders but it supports our longstanding tradition of providing the only weeklong, residential, overnight summer camp program for underprivileged kids in Central Texas, all at no cost to our campers’ families. Led by Bobby Rosales and Ross Taylor, this year’s campaign generated $300,000, which will provide an exceptional summer camp experience for more than 800 kids this summer.

Additionally, we launched a new initiative this year to leverage the power of our networks by inviting them to directly fundraise on behalf of ASC utilizing our fundraising platform, which generated nearly $35,000 in donations sourced from non-YMBL members. This new strategy will be a game-changer for our fundraising efforts over the coming years.


  • The YMBL Man - Earlier this year, our membership ratified amendments to YMBL’s bylaws that provide for greater accountability and quality of our membership through enforcement of membership requirements and utilization of our provisional membership structure. Most importantly, we expect this initiative will yield greater engagement for members and greater fulfillment of our mission to support ASC through revenue and volunteerism.  

  • Member Experience - The value we provide our members directly correlates to their ability to create meaningful engagement with our organizations and this begins with the onboarding process. Since January, we have thoroughly audited and re-engineered this process to ensure we’re setting new members up for success as they enter the organization and greater camaraderie through new member retreats, introduction to their Service Team, and orientation to ASC.

  • Current Stats - As of this report, YMBL’s membership consists of 219 members, 29 of which are first-year provisional members.


James Baker and his team have done a marvelous job this year coordinating YMBL members each session as we support ASC’s programs through our volunteerism. We’ve seen strong participation at each of the weekly events and our campers consistently overwhelm us with positive reinforcement of what this level of engagement from YMBL members means to their experience at ASC.

  • Sunshine Run - Led by Jay Horn and Nolan Woyner, the 5th annual Sunshine Run was one of the most successful races in history, resulting in a record number of 2,351 runners participating and a record net profit directly to ASC.
  • Austin Under 40 Awards - This year marked the 20th annual Austin Under 40 Awards, which we host in partnership with Young Women’s Alliance. Thanks to Hal Williams’ leadership, we set numerous records this year including more than 1,000 unique nominations submitted and approximately 100% year-over-year growth in net proceeds from last year.

  • Spring Fling & Fall Fling - As a new benefit for members, we launched an initiative to offer access to these events at no cost to members who maintain active membership status. Although it’s just the beginning, we look forward to establishing additional value-adds to our membership and we look forward to your feedback on this initiative to ensure we’re aligning our member benefits to the interests of our membership.  


Above all, my topline objective as president is to ensure organizational and financial stability of Austin Sunshine Camps. With an annual budget that has doubled within the past five years; a nearly 100% new staff since January 2018; and fundamental changes to the nature and quality of our programs, the majority of my time and focus this year has been spent ensuring our new team has the support, institutional knowledge, and resources to fulfill the mission we all care so deeply for.   

Without question, one of my proudest achievements as president thus far has been the role I’ve played in elevating the sophistication of our staff infrastructure and the quality and efficacy of the programs we deliver.

Specifically, we’ve hired Erica Blue as Chief Executive Officer; Megan Grayless as Chief Development Officer; and Lawrence English as Chief Programs Officer, amongst several other staff I’m excited to have on the team. Not only do each of these individuals bring the highest levels of experience, expertise, and professionalism to ASC - as well as deep personal connection to our mission - but I firmly believe their leadership will set ASC on a trajectory that enables us to achieve a new precedent for the quality of programs, impact, and measurable outcomes we seek to offer Austin’s underserved communities along with a sustainable funding mechanism to support the current and future needs of our beloved organization. We’re committing to our core and I have full confidence in a strong future for ASC with this team at the helm.

In closing, I would not be able to provide such a report as this if not for the hard work and dedication from my board of directors and ASC staff. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each of them for their trust and confidence in my vision and their efforts to move these initiatives and our organizations forward.

I would also like to thank each of you for your support of Young Men’s Business League and Austin Sunshine Camps. Whether you’re an active member, provisional member, or alumnus, your dedication to our organizations enable us to carry forward our 105-year legacy of cultivating today’s young professionals into tomorrow’s community leaders through our mission to Connect, Lead, and Serve.

Looking ahead, I’d like to share a few specific ways which you can directly support our efforts and deepen your engagement with our organizations.

Support ASC through a direct contribution or by joining us as a Sunshine Keeper.

Contact Megan Grayless at megan@sunshinecamps.org

Invite your donors and/or friends and family to learn more about ASC and our mission during a camp tour on August 2nd or an alternate time.

Contact Megan Grayless at megan@sunshinecamps.org

Join me at one of Erica’s presentations of her 2018-2020 Vision for ASC, which will be held on August 13 and August 15.

Contact Erica Blue at erica@sunshinecamps.org

Sponsor and/or join us at the YMBL Classic, our annual golf tournament.

Contact Cole Moreland at cole.moreland@usi.com

Sponsor and/or join us at Legacy Bash, our annual alumni event.

Contact Casey Kelley at caseyhkelley@gmail.com

Interested in serving in a leadership capacity in 2019?

Contact A.J. Bingham at aj.bingham@gmail.com

Any other questions?

Contact Sheldon Busch at wsb04a@gmail.com

Just as I closed my first board meeting as president in January, I’ll leave you with the following words from Theodore Roosevelt, which I carry with me every day as personal inspiration for my service to each of you, the missions of YMBL & ASC, and the leadership we seek to bring to our community.    

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


Gordon Moore


Young Men’s Business League & Austin Sunshine Camps

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