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Stephen Cole (1950-2015)
It is with deep sorrow that we learned of the recent passing of Stephen S. Cole. Steve left a remarkable legacy during his eight-year tenure as president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. He was a compassionate man and a visionary leader, who was truly dedicated to improving the lives of individuals of all ages in in the community.
Steve served on the YMCA’s Board of Managers and the Executive Committee for eight years before becoming president and CEO in 2001. Under his leadership, the association underwent a major turnaround toward sustainability. He opened the Kelly Hall YMCA, Rauner YMCA, McCormick Tribune YMCA, the Dr. Effie O. Ellis YMCA Head Start child care center in West Garfield Park and the Jeanne Kenney YMCA Day Care Center at SOS Children's Village in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood. He expanded youth programming, created additional senior housing and broke ground for Camp Independence.
When he retired in 2009, he left behind an organization with solid leadership, a strong balance sheet and poised for a successful future.
"Steve brought courage, vision and fiscal responsibility to the YMCA. He was really motivated by the mission and helping kids,” says James Hayes, Partner and Managing Director, Aurora Investment Management L.L.C., and member of the YMCA of Metro Chicago Board of Managers.
Bill Osborn, former Chairman and CEO of Northern Trust, adds, “He was a staunch businessman who put his heart into everything he did.”
The YMCA of Metro Chicago is grateful for Steve Cole’s leadership during a very challenging time in our history. We extend our sincere condolences to his wife, Christine, sons Andrew and Taylor, and his many family and friends.