West Cook YMCA

May 2015 CEO Message

Published 05.01.15


A Year Marked by Memorable Milestonesclientuploads/Staff/Phillip.jpg

Travelers along the Romans’ Appian Way looked for large granite milestones by the side of the road to assure them they were on the proper path.

Benjamin Franklin measured out mileage on the old Post Road along the Atlantic Coast with similar milepost markers--forerunners of today’s ubiquitous green metal signs on our interstate highway system. 

May marks an important milestone for me— the first year of my service here at the West Cook YMCA.

I feel that I have been incredibly blessed to have been welcomed so warmly by board, staff and Y members when I came aboard a year ago.

I began to feel the true spirit of the Y when a team of residents, board, staff, volunteers and contractors all worked together for two memorable weeks in late summer to brighten and burnish our half-century-old building.

And all during this past year, I’ve been supported by so many who are associated here to help us build a stronger future for this 112-year-old not-for-profit organization by enthusiastically adopting the four pillars of the 2014 West Cook YMCA’s priorities—building member value, offering impactful programs, establishing fiscal soundness and being of relevance to the community.

We’ve made some strategic investments in our facilities, equipment and infra-structure to offer the best possible experience for all our members. At nearly 2,000 member units, which represent some 6,000 people, we welcome more than 600 visitors to the West Cook YMCA every day, from the early dawn hours to late in the evening.

My hope is that we will continue to make every one of those visits a valuable experience for all of our members. 

Our programs continue to have an impact on the lives of so many people.

For example, our Summer Camp this year is being strengthened to build opportunities for increased social interaction between campers, to give them a sense of belonging and encourage them to explore new horizons as they grow and mature.

We are committed to helping close the achievement gap by encouraging social-emotional, cognitive and physical development of youth of all ages who participate in YMCA programs.

New projects like the Diabetes Prevention Program, Healthy Communities Initiative with our neighbors, the Healthy Aging and Personal and Group training programs will continue to provide relevant services designed to advance and promote wellness within a framework for healthy living for members of all ages.

Stewardship of both the human and financial resources of this Y to assure a sound fiscal future continues to be a priority.

Our goal is to provide programs with greater impact at a less cost. To do this, our fund raising effort needs to continue with the Annual Support Campaign supplemented by event revenue and grants from foundations, corporations, individuals and government agencies.

Our focus continues to offer programs of relevance to the ten communities we serve.  That’s why we are enthusiastically adopting the YMCA of the USA’s new umbrella initiative, “Framework for Healthy Living,” a structure designed to help individuals, families, organizations and entire communities live well and enjoy the benefits of good health.

Our mission is to do all we can to help individuals promote their own wellness, reduce the risk of disease and injury and assist those in need to reclaim and restore their health.

On a broader scale, it means that individuals, families, organizations and the entire community can turn to the West Cook YMCA for a full menu of programs to advance wellness and prevent serious health consequences.

My wife, Beatriz, who generously volunteers  on many Y initiatives, and I feel so very blessed to have the opportunity to serve so many people at important milestones in their own lives. We look forward to be of continued service.

Phillip Jiménez
President and CEO

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