West Cook YMCA


September 2015 CEO Message

Published 09.01.15

 

Thump, thump, thump, thump…

Did you ever hear such a sweet sound?

All day long and well into the evening, across the hallway from my office comes the sound of scores of Y members stepping off to better health.

Many are pounding away on our new treadmills and StairMasters; others pedal comfortably on recumbent bikes.

The sounds are being made by Y members using a suite of some 40 pieces of new state-of-the art cardio equipment, an investment valued at more than $250,000, that we installed during our August Recess to step up to our members’ expectations and to provide a better value for the enjoyment of all.

From the newly poured concrete steps at the front entrance to our sub-basement and roof, this “Vintage house” of a YMCA is whistle clean and burnished bright as a result of our annual Summer Recess.

An energetic and creative team of board members, residents, staff and contractors tackled some 200 separate tasks of cleaning, preventive maintenance and structural improvement in 11 areas of the building and grounds. We did a very thorough deep cleaning of the entire structure, including the pool and pool deck, all wellness, fitness and sports areas and the racquetball courts.

New rubber-based cushion flooring was installed in our Spirit Mind Body Room, in the Y-Box and other high traffic areas.

The Girl’s Locker Room has a fresh new coat of “Tiffany blue” paint and new furniture in the Women’s Spa Lounge. And, attention was given to the Men’s /Boy’s locker room as well.

Improvements and upgrades were made to the Resident floors.

The success of this year’s Summer Recess was possible only because the Board of Directors, chaired by Perry Vietti, approved the necessary resources to undertake these many tasks. The patience and grace of our members who forwent two weeks of their regular Y routines helped greatly.

This year’s Summer Recess benefited from the energy and enthusiasm of a Project Management team who joined with me and included: Josh Skoczen, Building & Properties Director; Isidro Santoya, Maintenance Supervisor; Elizabeth Lopez, Youth Development Director; and Mark Olson, Financial Development Director.

As we begin the new fall season, we welcome two new staff members whose education, training and past experience will greatly assist the Y help our members live happier and healthier lives.

Kevin Klein, the former Associate Executive Director of our neighbor, the PAV YMCA of Berwyn & Cicero, is our new Chief Operations Officer. He succeeds David Parsons who retired.

Laura Olszewski, an experienced fitness and wellness professional, is Director of Healthy Living. She succeeds Krystle Voegel who returned to teaching.

We believe that Kevin and Laura will assist the Y in its broader mission to make a positive impact on the health and wellness of members of all ages and the communities we serve through scores of programs focused on disease prevention and education.

At the PAV YMCA of Berwyn & Cicero, Kevin was recognized for his leadership in launching initiatives that improved operational efficiency and projects that strengthened links to community stakeholders resulting in substantial membership growth.

Kevin began his YMCA career at the Dane County YMCA in Madison, Wisconsin in 2005. Later he served as the Senior Program Director of the Fox Valley YMCA in Plano, Illinois.

He attended Franklin University where he majored in Business Administration.

Laura earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

During her career in the health and wellness field, she has worked as a personal trainer, practiced chiropractic rehabilitation and served in the corporate wellness industry at Midtown Health where she managed several wellness programs and sites.

Our strategy of facilitating and encouraging Healthy Aging took another step forward this month as AgeOptions Oak Park, a non-profit organization that helps suburban Cook County older adults live their lives to the fullest by empowering them with a broad menu of information and resources, joins the Oak Park Township as a Workplace Wellness partner.

Employees of these two organizations that serve seniors will have the benefit of on-site “Lunch and Learn” classes in fitness, disease prevention and nutrition. The staffs of our Workplace Wellness partners also may take full advantage of the West Cook YMCA at discounted fees that includes a free fitness consultation and the services of a wellness coach to help participants map a personal plan for success.

This fall, our members will have a dozen complimentary Group Exercise classes, as we’ve added five free classes that formerly were fee based but now are included with membership. We’ve also added some new Specialty classes that are very popular.

We hope that all members will take full advantage of a comprehensive fitness consultation as a benchmark to assist with goal setting and moving forward on the right foot toward physical fitness as they measure success along the journey to improved health and fitness.

Phillip Jiménez
President & CEO

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