He will be honored at the annual volunteer recognition dinner Monday at the Cobb Galleria Centre near Vinings. Playing Gra-Y football and basketball as a student at Buckhead’s now-defunct R.L. Hope Elementary School was Yates’ first Y experience. He attended Camps Waco and Pioneer, Atlanta YMCA resident camps in north Georgia.
His first job was as a Y summer camp counselor in Roswell. As a young adult, he volunteered to coach basketball for the Decatur Family Y. In 2000 Yates was elected to the YMCA of Metro Atlanta board. He served on the executive, finance and Y-CEO golf tournament committees and the resource development task force.
He was a member of the comprehensive campaign cabinet and provided valuable fundraising support. In 2008 the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ greater Atlanta chapter named him the Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year for his efforts with the Atlanta Opera and the YMCA of Metro Atlanta.
“I am passionate about making a difference in the community,” Yates said. “I am especially proud of the work the Y is doing in early childhood education. It’s so much fun to see a child succeed. It’s changing lives, and it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Outside the Y, Yates is involved with the Atlanta Rotary Club, the Atlanta Opera board and the Robert Tyre Jones Jr. Scholarship Committee at Emory University. He recently retired as executive vice president of Zurich Insurance Group.