Hall of Fame Honor for Chuck Harris

6 September 2022
Star Celebration

Former YMCA CEO, Chuck Harris, receives Hall of Fame honor

The YMCAs of the Southeast have selected seven 2022 inductees to join its Hall of Fame reserved for YMCA leaders exemplifying leadership, character and integrity through their work, and have made a remarkable impact on the YMCA movement throughout the Southeast.

The Class of 2022 inductees includes former YMCA of South Hampton Roads President and CEO, Chuck Harris. Leading the YMCA of South Hampton Roads for over two decades from 1989-2012, Chuck was transformative in growing the network of Y service across our Tidewater region expanding annual revenue exponentially from $3 million to $45 million by adding new YMCA facilities and offering critical community programs. 

Chuck's wide-reaching impact has created a legacy. He started his Y career in Nashville in 1969, went on to serve in Memphis and Greater Richmond before moving to Hampton Roads, serving the YMCA movement for more than 40 years! To this day, YMCA staff recall meaningful and career-changing moments while working with Mr. Harris.

"As I read the overview and purpose of the YMCAs of the Southeast Hall of Fame, Charles E. "Chuck" Harris immediately comes to my mind as a leader who has devoted his life to strengthening communities through his dedication to serving others. From the time he was a young man until he retired (and beyond), Chuck has faithfully demonstrated his commitment to the YMCA movement and its mission in the various communities in which he has served. I wholeheartedly endorse Chuck Harris as an outstanding leader within the YMCA movement who merits the honor of being named as a Southeast YMCA Hall of Fame recipient in the Class of 2022." 

Susan Ohmsen, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, YMCA of South Hampton Roads

"I joined the YMCA of South Hampton Roads in 2006 when Chuck was the CEO. Instantly, I was drawn to his leadership style: passionate, engaged, calculated and most of all, kind. He set an example for me as a young professional and I learned so many things under his leadership. Chuck has a knack for understanding communities, identifying their needs, and organizing a means in which to meet those needs. To say I'm privileged to have worked with Chuck is an understatement. He is an incredible human being and model for all to reach."

Jamie Childress, Vice President of Youth Development, YMCA of South Hampton Roads

A celebration for the Class of 2022 inductees will be held on Wednesday, September 21st at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly to honor the dedicated careers of service for each Class of 2022 inductee. Current YMCA of South Hampton Roads President & CEO, Anthony Walters, led the nomination process for Mr. Harris and will be honoring Chuck for his decades of Y service at the celebration. In Anthony's nomination, he summarized Chuck's service to community. 

"It is my sincere belief that a "Hall of Fame" worthy individual is one who performed with greatness, consistently, over the course of an entire career on the job AND off the job.  Chuck Harris is the consummate representative of this example. Between his performance as a Y professional from Director to CEO, to his volunteer responsibilities as a Blue Ridge Assembly Board Member, Chuck Harris has demonstrated his ability to bring awareness and success to the aims and purposes of the initiatives he sees as valuable to the recipients to whom it matters most. Chuck Harris is selfless and worthy because to all of us in OUR community, he already IS a "Hall of Famer", but it would be so phenomenal for him to be a part of YOUR "Hall of Fame".

It will be a profound and great honor to celebrate Chuck later this month. Thank you for leaving a powerful and permanent mark on our local community,