Savannah leader Michael Traynor named President and CEO of Union Mission

Traynor has chaired many of the leading community nonprofit boards

Michael C. Traynor will fill the role of Union Mission's President and CEO beginning Feb. 15. - COURTESY OF MICHAEL C. TRAYNOR
Courtesy of Michael C. Traynor
Michael C. Traynor will fill the role of Union Mission's President and CEO beginning Feb. 15.
The Union Mission Board of Directors has announced that Michael C. Traynor has been named as President and CEO of the Savannah organization that strives to help the homeless, effective Feb. 15. Traynor assumes the role following an announcement of current Executive Director Pat Youngquist’s retirement in the spring of 2021.

Currently, Traynor operates his own management consulting company assisting media companies and local businesses with strategies for transformation and revenue growth. This comes after serving as publisher of the Savannah Morning News.

With a background of over 30 years in media communications, in addition to substantial involvement with multiple community organizations, Traynor holds extensive management and leadership experience. He has served on the Union Mission Board of Directors for over nine years, recently serving as Board Chair for 2018 and 2019, and serving on the Executive Committee from 2014 through 2020.

“We are excited to have someone of Mike Traynor’s skillset and capabilities to take over the leadership of Union Mission,” said Union Mission Board Chair Michael McCarthy. “Mike has an excellent record of successful operational and financial performance and has been a respected leader in the Savannah community for many years.”

Traynor has chaired many of the leading community nonprofit boards including the United Way of the Coastal Empire, Rotary Club of Savannah, American Red Cross, Greenbriar Children’s Center, Step-Up Savannah Anti-Poverty Initiative, and the Savannah Community Foundation. He also served as the chair of the annual United Way community fundraising campaign and raised a record number of contributions.

“I am excited to be joining the exceptional team at Union Mission,” said Traynor. “It will be an honor to lead an organization where the mission is to help individuals and families end their homelessness. With its counseling, shelter, transitional and permanent supportive housing programs, Union Mission is positioned to build on its current programs and offer new solutions to address areas where service gaps exist.”

Traynor acknowledged that ongoing economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could exacerbate the issue of homelessness in the Savannah region, but said that Union Mission is in a good financial position to address the community's needs.

“Homelessness is a growing issue across America and in the local community,” Traynor said. “Thankfully, Union Mission is on solid footing.”

Union Mission has cared for Savannah’s homeless community for over 80 years, offering emergency, transitional and permanent housing, as well as comprehensive, wrap-around services such as mental health and substance abuse counseling, employment sources, and culinary arts job training.

“Mike comes at a pivotal time in Union Mission history,” adds McCarthy. “We want to thank Pat Youngquist for her fantastic leadership over the past five years. Because of her leadership, Union Mission is on a strong footing, but homelessness is still a growing problem and we are continually embarking on efforts to expand our services. Mike’s perspective will be welcome and we look forward to growing and refining our delivery of services under his leadership.”

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