About the Authors

Susan Ragsdale & Ann Saylor have worked joyfully together since 1999 when they co-hosted a national environmental conference. Since 2002, they have been leading workshops, developing curriculum, coaching organizations, and following their passion to author books . . . in their spare time! After best-seller Great Group Games, Ready to Go Service Projects, Building Character from the Start, and Great Group Games for Kids, they are thrilled to announce their 7th book: Groups, Troops, Clubs and Classrooms.

Susan and Ann are nationally recognized trainers and best-selling authors with over 35 years of experience in the field of youth development and leadership. They are the co-founders of the YMCA Center for Asset Development where they empower, equip, and educate others to live authentic lives of character, service, and leadership. In the decade since launching the Center, Saylor and Ragsdale have worked with over 10,000 people face-to-face and have reached thousands more via their on-line connections and through their best-selling books. They offer strategies, tools, and trends that inspire positive personal and professional growth, enhance relationships between adults and youth which ultimately improves the quality of youths’ lives. Their extensive work in schools and community organizations as well as their stellar reputation as inspiring and engaging trainers has earned them a place in several national professional training groups.

Along with their training and development skills, Susan and Ann have authored seven books, with their very first book, Great Group Games, being a best-seller. All of their books emphasize personal and group development, prompt self-discovery, and provide activities, stories and strategies that are both practical and fun. Their mantra “play, live, lead with purpose” is evident in all they do. Susan is a creativity and reading buff who lives in Nashville with her husband Pete. She enjoys spending time with their two feisty, playful dogs, Lacy and Summer. Ann enjoys spending time with her husband Dan and their three children. They love playing games, reading, crafting, laughing, and volunteering together. With Susan and Ann’s commitment to youth leadership and development they empower others to live authentic lives of character, service, and leadership.

Child Development and Youth Character Specialists

Susan Ragsdale and Ann Saylor YMCA CAD Founders

Susan Ragsdale directs the on-going activities at the YMCA Center for Asset Development.  She has directed middle Tennessee and national youth development initiatives at the YMCA since 1992.  Two of her favorite all-time career highlights were her years helping coach the “Bulldawgs,” an inner-city sports team, and her time as a regional director for a youth environmental service-learning program.

Ann Saylor has been teaching and writing in the youth and community development field since 1993.  Before co-founding the Center for Asset Development, Ann enjoyed directing service-learning programs and empowering youth with the Points of Light Institute, Volunteer Tennessee, 4-H, and Harpeth Hall School.