The Tellepsen Family story began when 14 year old Tom Tellepsen left his home in Norway to be a cabin boy on a sailing ship. He faced an uncertain future, but the faith his mother instilled in him and a determination to create a successful new life brought him to Texas in 1909.
The story continues…
The story of the Tellepsen Family and the Houston YMCA has been going on for over 100 years beginning in 1910 when the family's patriarch, Tom Tellepsen, took architectural drafting classes at the Downtown YMCA Night School. "Mr. Tom" and his son, Howard Tellepsen, both went on to become Life Members of the YMCA of Greater Houston Association Board. In all, five generations of the Tellepsen family have participated in and served with the Houston YMCA.
Today, Tom's grandson, Howard Tellepsen Jr., is keeping alive the legacy he always heard from his father and grandfather… "It's important that the Tellepsen's be involved with something larger than ourselves; it's not about us. It's about others. It's about giving back to the community."
Howard has stayed true to that family commitment having served in various roles in the Y movement. Beginning in 1973 he served as a Board Member at Cossaboom (East End) YMCA and Board Chair 1976-1978; Trotter (Post Oak) YMCA Board Chair 1987; Association Board 2004 2009, 2011 2014, Board Chair 2013, Life Member 2015; and the prestigious David Allen Award in 2016.
Great grandson, Tadd Tellepsen, has served on the Aldine Greenspoint YMCA Board from 2000-2006 as well as Partners Campaign Leader, Trotter (Post Oak) YMCA 2006 2013 Board of Directors, Annual Campaign Chair, Board Chair and Volunteer of the Year 2008. Like three generations before him, Tadd has served on the YMCA of Greater Houston Association Board since 2015 and currently serves on the Executive Committee as Risk Management Committee Chair.
The Tellepsen Family Downtown YMCA bears the family name in honor of their long standing commitment to making the YMCA a place for all.
Today, Howard Tellepsen Jr. stands at the helm of a family known as much for their philanthropic contributions as they are for the business they have created. Tellepsen has been handed down through four generations now to their four sons, Tadd, Tellef, Trent and Trevor.
The family's sense of philanthropy and pride in giving back to their community is etched in everything they do!