Denise Lam

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago

Denise Lam is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. In her role, she oversees the day-to-day operations at the Y, as well as several divisions, including Real Estate, Facility Management, Capital/Construction, Information Technology, Purchasing/Procurement, and Diversity & Inclusion.

Prior to that, she also held other positions at the Y, including Senior Vice President of Integrated Business Systems, Senior Vice President of Operations, Group Vice President, Executive Director, Associate Executive Director, and Operations Director.

Prior to joining the YMCA, Denise was the Chief Executive Officer at the Chinese Mutual Aid Association, a comprehensive not-for-profit social service agency serving Chinese and other immigrants and refugees on Chicago’s North Side and western suburbs. Her early work in Chicago’s immigrant community and her service as a Commissioner of the Chicago Council on Human Relations has provided her with a unique perspective on multiculturalism in the YMCA movement.  

Denise sits on the Executive Committee for the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) and is the co-chair of the Health Promotion and Public Education Interest Group for CLOCC. She is a board member of Chinese American Service League. She was a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR). She is a fellow of the Leadership Greater Chicago Class of 2010, a member of the Asian Leadership Network of the YMCA of the USA, a coach for the Multicultural Executive Development Institute (MEDI), and a mentor for the Multicultural Mentoring Program (MMP) of the YMCA of the USA.

Denise was born in Hong Kong. She has a BA in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Organizational Development through the Springfield College. Denise currently lives with her son, Kylin, and her mother in the northern suburbs of Chicago.