Celebrating 50 Years of Service

YMCA Buffalo Niagara congratulates our President and CEO, Olin “Buddy” Campbell Jr., as he prepares to retire after a lifelong career of dedicated service and employment at the Y.

Buddy’s YMCA service began when he was just 16 years old in his hometown of Batavia, New York, where he worked in many part-time positions including YMCA camp counselor, swim instructor, and lifeguard. After four years, he accepted the challenge to fill his first full-time role in 1973 as a Youth and Resident Camp Director.

Over the next several decades, Buddy travelled back and forth along the NYS I-90 splitting his life’s work between the Rochester and Buffalo Niagara YMCA associations. This included roles as Executive Director at the Maplewood Branch (1982-1984) and Southeast Branch (1984-1988) in Rochester. He then went on to become YMCA of Greater Buffalo’s Vice President–Chief Operating Officer (1988-1999) where he played a vital role in turning around the struggling association. He returned to Rochester in 1999 to lead the Management Resource Center for Upstate New York YMCAs in Rochester and shortly thereafter transitioned to the role of Senior Vice President of Association Advancement with the YMCA of Greater Rochester where his leadership and vision helped grow the Y’s footprint and impact across the region.

Buddy’s persona and reputation as an accomplished YMCA leader and visionary led to his return to the YMCA Buffalo Niagara association in 2013 to serve as President and CEO. Over the last six and a half years, he has led our association with the character and determination that has allowed him to build an extremely cause driven and dedicated staff-volunteer team to carry his vision and impact forward. Under Buddy’s leadership, the YMCA’s presence in Western New York has grown dramatically, and a key part of this was the successful merger with the Lockport YMCA, which opened its new branch in October 2018. 

“The highlight of my career has been my 6½ years as the President and CEO of YMCA Buffalo Niagara. The opportunity to work with and lead an extremely talented and committed staff team and to collaborate and work with a such a dedicated and dynamic group of volunteers has been very rewarding and a lot of fun,” says Buddy. “I believe that together we have positioned our YMCA for an exciting future serving our community.”

YMCA Buffalo Niagara thanks Buddy for all his incredible work throughout the years and wish him a healthy and happy retirement with his wife Jeannie, three sons, two daughters-in-law, five grandchildren, and his golden retriever, Sunny.