Bertram L Lawson II

Bertram L Lawson II

President and CEO of YMCA

Bertram L. Lawson II was recently appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA of Central New York, with headquarters located in Syracuse, NY.

Lawson previously served as the Chief Operating Officer for Mastery Charter Schools Network (Philadelphia, PA and Camden, NJ), a $250M non-profit organization, overseeing all aspects of non-instructional school operations, school budgets, sports/extra-curricular programming and student enrollment for 24 campuses. Prior to this role, he was recruited by the Y in Central Maryland to serve as their Senior Vice President of Operations providing leadership to 3 Health/Wellness centers, 20 Camping (Day & Resident) locations, Youth Development, 20 Community Schools and Mentoring programs while supervising two Vice Presidents and a District Executive Director. Lawson also served the Y for over 21 years, including in Philadelphia, with significant operational, membership, grant delivery, partnership, fundraising and program experience.

Lawson holds a bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University and is currently working towards a MBA from Wilmington University. He holds multiple Y-USA certifications and is a graduate of Y-USA’s Multicultural Executive Development Institute and C-Suite Next Level Coaching Programs. He serves on various boards: BanksGiving (Board Chair) and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (Eastern PA/Delaware Region). He has also served on National YMCA committees including the Membership Taskforce, Diversity Inclusion Leadership Council and Multicultural Advisory Committee. Lawson is the Immediate Past National Chair for the YUSA’s African American Employee Resource Network (AARN). He is an active member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. where he was initiated via Beta Chapter in 1996.

He is also a husband and father of four children.

“Bertram’s past experiences in the Y movement will enable him to immediately assess the Y’s role in the post-COVID environment in our community and act to provide services that will address those needs,” said YMCA of Central New York Board Chair and Chief Volunteer Officer Fran Nichols. “He is highly collaborative, and we see the opportunity to create partnerships with other not-for-profit organizations, the city and county, schools and our members to improve the lives of those in Central New York.”

“As I embark on this new journey leading the YMCA of Central New York, I look forward to us being true change agents and a community convener that focuses on positively impacting the Central New York region,” said Lawson. “This opportunity brings me great joy because it will allow me to work in a capacity that can bring forth programs and services that help people to grow and thrive.”

About the Y

The YMCA of Central New York is an association dedicated to the cause of strengthening community. At the Y, we believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. We rely on the generosity of our donors to ensure that our programs are available to all who need them. To join the cause or to learn more, visit

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