Name: George Brown.
Organization: Armed Services YMCA.
Title: Executive director.
No. of employees: 20.
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration from UNM; master’s in education from USIU.
Birthplace: Bartlesville, Okla.
Current residence: Oceanside.
Family: Wife, Carolyn; daughter, Tennille.
George Brown is the executive director for the Armed Services YMCA, at Camp Pendleton, a private nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide programs and services to active duty military and their families with a focus toward the junior enlisted ranks to increase their quality of life, reduce stress, and strengthen families. Founded in 1943, the ASYMCA has been serving the military community in the North County with an extensive array of dynamic and critical programs from education and recreation, to recovery and transition of wounded. More than 58,400 Marines, sailors, soldiers and their families were served in 2011.
Mission of organization: The mission of the Armed Services YMCA at Camp Pendleton is to enhance the lives of military personnel and their family members by providing programs and services focused toward the junior enlisted, to enhance their quality of life, reduce stress, strengthen families, and make military life a little easier.
Year founded: 1943.
Milestone: We have surpassed supporting over 58,000 active duty military and their family members.
Corporate supporters: Cox Communications, SDG&E, San Diego Chargers, San Diego Padres, Genentech, and LS Technologies.
Board Chair: Ingo Hentschel, of Cox Communications.
Number of board members: 24.
Number of employees: 20.
Number of volunteers: 188 volunteers serving 4,417 hours in 2011.
Wish list for organization: The obvious, of course, are cash donations to support programs but also having gift cards from major retailers (Target and Wal-Mart) allows us to support families in many of our holiday programs.
Recent challenge: To obtain necessary funding to expand programs and services to families located in communities that are farther from Camp Pendleton.
Measures of success: Seeing all our programs operating at full capacity, but also being able to see the grateful reaction of a military family we serve.
Smartest move: Partnering with the San Diego Social Venture Partners.
Missed opportunity: Not being able to expand some of our programs and services due to limited funding and staffing.
Misconception: Most people think we are part of the military and receive government funding, but we are a private nonprofit dedicated to supporting active duty and their families.
Personal path to nonprofit work: After serving the Marine Corps for 30 years, my passion was to serve our military families in a more direct manner. The Armed Services YMCA has provided the opportunity to serve in a different capacity and to make an impact on the quality of life for the junior enlisted ranks.
Toughest aspect of work: Not being able to support all the families in some of their immediate needs.
Greatest pleasure of job: Witnessing families’ gratitude for our assistance and being able to make a difference.
Best recent moment: Watching a child whose parent is deployed accept their own personal quilt that includes the father’s photo as part of our Operation Kid Comfort program.
Worst recent moment: Seeing a military family fall apart due to PTSD or stresses from the many combat deployments.
Mentor: Not a specific person, but the advice and counsel from my board and other nonprofit professionals which I can turn to for difficult and complex issues.
Favorite book: The Civil War and military series of books by Jeff Shaara.
Downtime: Swimming and reading.
Causes: Military families.