Bonnie & Mohammed Yousuf at the Spring 2013 auction.
(By John Morehouse)
Although Mohammed Yousuf joined Salmagundi just two years ago, he and his wife Bonnie have been an honored presence at the club for upwards of 15 years, as loyal buyers at our auctions and as attendees of countless celebratory events such as our library dinners. Their extensive art collection includes more than a dozen Salmagundians; among them Malcolm MacKenzie, Irv Docktor, John Traynor, Claudia Seymour, Don Holden, Michael Budden, Kevin McEvoy and Charlie Yoder.
It wasn’t until Mohammed (fondly called Yousuf by his friends) retired as Comptroller of New York’s Century Association, one of the oldest private clubs devoted to arts and letters in America, that he felt he would have the proper time to devote to a membership at Salmagundi. In 2011 he applied and was welcomed as a Resident Lay. Since last year he has been an integral part of the SCNY Gallery Renovation Committee, whose members include include Tim Newton, Bob Pillsbury, Claudia Seymour, engineers Lou Lalli and Gil Winter as well as project architect, Lisa Easton.
During his 37 year tenure at the Century, Yousuf oversaw a staff of almost 100 employees and helped coordinate five capital renovation projects within the landmarked McKim, Mead and White clubhouse on West 43rd Street – totaling upwards of $20 million, and which entailed working with some of the city’s most esteemed architects and engineers.
Additionally, Yousuf’s position involved oversight of the Century’s restaurant, which has one of the finest reputations in the country. Having acquired an extremely broad familiarity with chefs, menus and restaurants in the greater New York region, he’s also been sought out to serve as a consultant to other major clubs.
Most recently he was tapped by the 2013 Nominating Committee to serve as the next Chairman of Salmagundi’s House Committee, a position which, if he’s elected, would give him a chance to share his vast managerial expertise with all of us.
The Yousufs are long-term residents of Riverdale, and are avid travelers, having visited perhaps 50 countries around the world, including Albany, New York, where their daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren live.
Yousuf and Bonnie at the Spring Auction reception.