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    Jamie Bruning-Miles: President and CEO of the YMCA San Francisco

    Jamie Bruning-Miles

    For more than 160 years, the YMCA of San Francisco has addressed the most pressing social issues of the day—whether helping immigrants adjust to life in America, providing safe spaces for kids from all backgrounds to learn and grow, or supporting soldiers returning from war to find jobs back home. The longstanding organization, now under the helm of CEO and President Jamie Bruning-Miles, is committed to building equity through diversity, inclusion, and global engagement efforts. He and his team are working to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, age, cultural background, ethnicity, faith, gender, gender identity, ideology, income, national origin, race, or sexual orientation has the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. Here, Bruning-Miles shares more about the YMCA, his role and background, and his Golden Gate Business Association membership.

    GGBA: The scope of your business—its mission and values—is extraordinary. What do you strive for, and how many branches and locations of the YMCA are involved?

    Jamie Bruning-Miles: Our vision and mission at the YMCA of San Francisco is to build healthy, equitable, and sustainable communities for all generations where you can be, belong, and become. This means we strive to model the values of truth & courage, dependability & creativity, dignity & empathy, authenticity & accessibility in all we do serving youth, adults, families, and seniors through 14 branches and locations across the city and county of San Francisco, and Marin and San Mateo Counties. 

    GGBA: Who are some of your role models, and especially those who helped to influence you in your present role?

    Jamie Bruning-Miles: There is a quote that I learned many years ago that summarizes the role models who shape my thinking that goes, “As an organization grows, it must become more human not less.”   

    To that end, I am most inspired by individuals that, despite the risk, are truly their most authentic selves. In return, it inspires me to do the same as well as ask my organization’s leaders to as well. I look to groundbreaking individuals like Lizzo, Gus Kenworthy, Maxwell Frost, Greta Thunberg, Carl Nassib, and similar leaders for inspiration as they push boundaries, influence others, and change the world by being their best selves. I am blessed to lead a human services organization that encourages greater authenticity that is human-centered and practices grace to really show up for the communities we serve.   

    GGBA: Why did you decide to join the GGBA, and how long have you been a member? 

    Jamie Bruning-Miles: I’ve been a member for two years after connecting with the leader of the GGBA at the time, Terry Beswick.  I felt it was important that our organization be a part of the LGBTQIA+ business community. I so appreciate how the GGBA listens, too, and elevates and supports LGBTQIA+ organizations like the Y, and brings us together to advocate for our unique interests. I plan on continuing to be a member and hopefully become more active in the near future.   

    GGBA: How has being a member of the GGBA helped you and your work so far?

    Jamie Bruning-Miles: This is a great way to meet other queer leaders in the Bay Area. At sessions, there’s more education around government funds, profits, and smaller businesses. Convening leaders across the Bay Area has been helpful and extremely validating as we celebrate our collective success in such trying times.   

    GGBA: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of starting or leading a nonprofit? 

    Jamie Bruning-Miles: Mentor and be mentored. My advice is to look at the industry you wish to lean into and find leaders who are willing to help you find your space in that industry. Someone who will support you as you navigate the complexity of boards and structures and systems will also help you understand gaps in your experience that you can fill by either volunteering to serve or by offering your experiences in the field. Additionally, I recommend that, no matter where you are today, you can also be a mentor for others. It is great to have a solid mentor who truly sees you, but reaching out to help others will also help you succeed in nonprofit spaces.   

    GGBA: Is there anything else that you would like to share? 

    Jamie Bruning-Miles: My husband (Ronald Bruning-Miles) and I are very proud to be in the Bay Area. My husband and I both come from the South, so in many ways this space can feel magical. We are grounded in the city of San Francisco where we live and love. To be in a city where we can be our authentic selves in the spaces and places we occupy was not a given for us. It can be very scary and unsafe. Recognizing our privilege here, despite other states or even other parts of California, is a reality we know. Some live in absolute danger in our spaces, and it’s up to us to elevate our trans family of color to expand on our safety. The privilege of not being targeted consistently is that we show up as authentic selves, and we can build that for everyone in our community.

    GGBA Calendar

    Wednesday, March 1
    Real Estate Lunch & Learn
    Virtual, 2–3 pm
    We are proud to cohost this virtual event with our community partner, the San Francisco Chapter of LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance. With the real estate market forces creating a lot of headwinds, getting buyers to buy and sellers to sell can be challenging. How can a lender help you grow your business and get creative on the financing side? Every buyer and seller is different—but a trusted mortgage partner is a valuable asset in your tool belt to provide products and services that can help your offers get accepted and succeed. Discuss the options for 2023 as the market continues to shift so that you can continue to grow your business this year! Join Garret Groenveld from Guaranteed Rate for a summary of some of the tools the mortgage industry can provide to help grow your business, followed by a question and answer/brainstorming session to break the log jam and get things moving.

    Thursday, March 2
    Academy Daylight Open House & Keynote
    2–4 pm, The Academy, 2166 Market Street, SF
    Tour the newly-expanded Academy and learn about why having a comfortable “third space” can improve your work-life balance, productivity, and mental health. Join us for this casual reception, featuring a keynote presentation by Tony Archuleta-Perkins, President of the Golden Gate Business Association.

    Tuesday, March 14
    March 2023 Make Contact
    6–8 pm, Arepas Latin Cuisine, 3198 16th Street, SF
    Spring is in the air, and we’ll be holding our March Make Contact at Arepas Latin Cuisine! Make Contact events are a perfect opportunity to get to know the GGBA, if you’re not yet a member. Come network with us, and find out what we’re about. Registration is just $20 for non-members, and includes food and drinks.
    We look forward to seeing you there!

    Wednesday, April 19
    New Member Orientation
    6–7 pm, Zoom
    Meet your Membership Coordinator, and get the tips and information you need to help you make your membership a success story. We’ll go over some website features, best practices, GGBA programming, and more! Zoom link provided with registration.

    GGBA Member Spotlight
    Published on February 23, 2023