xecutive Vice Presidents of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce have served, as some have remarked, as the “backbone” of the organization. For years, these individuals were given the broad outlines and vision of the leadership and were responsible for the implementation, communication and success of those dreams and goals of the organization. At times “all alone” and at one point with as many as 80 staff to supervise, direct and manage the Executive Vice Presidents and now the Executive Director of the The U.S. Jaycees has had a unique position in the organization the Chief Executive of the paid staff and a non-voting member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

The Executive Vice-President/Executive Director (EVP/ED) of the Corporation, is recommended by a committee (as defined in the bylaws) and ratified by the Executive Committee, the EVP/ED shall serve until resignation has been accepted by the Executive Committee; or until removal by the Executive Committee. Until a bylaw change in the mid-80’s the Executive Vice President as well as the paid staff were required to “retire” by age 40 so even a paid staff position with The U.S. Jaycees was considered a training opportunity to move on to other things in one’s life. However, now the Executive Vice President/Executive Director shall not be limited by age and shall be engaged in no other business or vocation.

The Executive Vice-President/Executive Director, under the direction of the President, is in charge of the operation of the Corporation’s National Service Center and is responsible for the successful execution of the Policies and Procedures and any applicable regulations of the Corporation as determined by the Executive Committee or the Board of Directors. The Executive Vice-President shall have general supervision/disbursement over all corporate funds, dues and accounts of the Corporation and report on the financial condition of the Corporation.

The Executive Vice-President/Executive Director is an ex-officio member of all of the Corporation’s committees and affiliates. The EVP/ED keeps and files minutes. The EVP/ED gives notice of all meetings of the Executive Committee, Board of Directors and the Annual Meetings of the Corporation.

Those that have served are listed below showing their home state at the time of hiring:

1927-1928 S.R. Kemp Indiana Deceased
1928-1934 Harry J. Krusz Missouri Deceased
1934-1937 Sherman C. Humason Minnesota Deceased
1937-1938 Marvin Hurley Oklahoma Deceased
1938-1941 Thomas R. Reid Arkansas Deceased
1941-1944 Douglas H. Timmerman Missouri
1944-1946 Harold Herman Illinois
1946-1947 Rex McMorris Texas Deceased
1947-1949 Frank Fister Utah Deceased
1950-1952 Robert O. Ladd New York Deceased
1952-1955 Gordon T. Hicks California Deceased
1955-1958 Roland Tibbetts Connecticut
1958-1961 Ben L. Swanson Washington
1961-1963 Max D. Nalley Oklahoma Deceased
1963-1967 Jack A. Friedrich Illinois Deceased
1967-1969 Bob Cronk Iowa Deceased
1969-1970 Thomas R. Donnelly Pennsylvania
1970-1972 Robert Dunbar Minnesota
1972-1974 Ray Roper Missouri Deceased
1974-1975 Hal Walter Iowa
1975-1978 Al Simensen New Hampshire
1978-1980 Don Varnadore Arkansas
1980-1982 Arthur “Frenchie” Boutiette Arkansas
1982-1984 Sam Willits South Dakota Deceased
1984-1986 Gram Hopkins Mississippi
1986-1987 Kevin W. Krepinevich Pennsylvania
1987-1992 Bill Brimmer Pennsylvania
1992-1995 Stephen P. Lawson Florida
1995-1997 Tim Jackson Missouri
1997-2007 John Shiroma Hawaii
2007-2009 NO EVP Brad Gemeinhart – staff interim
2009 Laurence Bolotin Indiana
2010 Carol Smith Interim Position – Ohio
2011* Joel Harper Missouri

2017 –

The First Executive Secretary

Harry J. Krusz was an apple-cheeked, cherubic young man with a warm smile and pleasant ways that belied his years and suggested he could not possibly get down to serious business. He lost no time proving that appearances do not mean a thing.

A youthful Harry Krusz (front row, sporting a beanie) attends an assembly of Junior Chamber members.
Mrs. E. G. Soell attended July Officers training School in July 1985

He joined Henry Giessenbier’s Junior Citizens in St. Louis in late 1917 at age 16 and was named assistant secretary. Shortly, he was tapped to also head the safety committee where his splended work was a forerunner of greater accomplishments to come. By 1919, he was ready for another job and was given chairmanship of the 20-member foreign trade committee. He continued working his way up the local ladder, earning election as president in 1926 and as national director the following year.

All the way along, if a song leader was needed, Harry was on the job. When a Glee Club librarian was needed, Harry volunteered. Whenever anyone had a tough job to put over, they put out the S.O.S. for Harry.

After H. Grady Vein was elected national president in 1927, he felt the organization had grown to a point where an executive secretary’s services were necessary. Krusz, an assistant to the general manager at Clarence Howard’s Commonwealth Steel Company, answered Vein’s call on a temporary basis. He ended up serving in the terms of the next six USJCC presidents.

After leaving The U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce in early 1934, his career led him to be a leading executive in the chambers of commerce in four sizeable cities, eventually working as vice president in charge of internal affairs of the Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. in Washington, D.C., in the mid-1950s.

His last position was as president and administrator of the Willows Foundation, a Laguna Hills, California, retirement home. Krusz, the “go-to-guy” for the Junior Chamber in its pioneering days, died five days short of his 78th birthday in 1978. During the Jaycees 75th anniversary year, his wife Marylu, was residing at the retirement home he once headed.

* In 2011 the United states Junior Chamber Bylaws were changed to change the title Executive Vice President to Executive Director and changing the scope and depth of the responsibilities.