West Cook YMCA

January 2016 CEO Message

Published 01.01.16


As we begin the New Year at the West Cook Y, we're focused on broadening our reach throughout the communities we serve to invite more people of all ages to join the Y to improve their health and wellness.

We're also pleased to share the very positive SEER Analytics results and to welcome two new members to our professional staff.
As we turn the page into the 2016 New Year, merchants of every stripe are blitzing traditional and new media with news about January sales, discounts and slashed prices.

Here at the West Cook YMCA we, too, are spreading the word-but our special offers are all in the name of improving health and wellness.

The New Year is a wonderful opportunity to share enthusiasm for being able to provide a broad range of services and programs designed to help our members reach and maintain their personal health goals.

This year during January, you'll see that we're not shy about shouting out the many benefits of joining the Y.

We're mounting a comprehensive and integrated communications campaign utilizing numerous media platforms and multiple contact points to urge west suburban residents to take charge of their fitness and personal health in the New Year by joining the West Cook YMCA.

Supporting our central theme of "renew yourself," is a series of Wednesday Journal ads reminding readers about the benefits of Y membership and our special offer of $0 joiners fee during January.

Flyers based on the Wednesday Journal ads will be posted at key community gathering spots throughout Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park.   

Y staff members will distribute flyers to passengers arriving and departing at the Marion Street CTA station during morning and evening rush hours.

We'll use the social media platforms of Facebook and Twitter to proclaim the benefits of joining the Y and also to introduce our Personal Training and Group Exercise staff-the professionally trained experts who all members can access all year long so they might maintain and improve their personal health.

Postcards are in the U.S. Mail en route to a large number of area residents urging recipients to "renew yourself" by taking advantage of the "$0 joiners fee during the month January"-a value of up to $ 165 depending on membership category.     

The mailers also detail the benefits of joining the Y and taking the first step to achieving vitality in the New Year enjoying:

  • use of a suite of new $250,000 state-of-the-art fitness equipment;
  • some 40 plus free group exercises every week;
  • priority sign up and discounts for swim classes;
  • personal trainer sessions;
  • preschool and after-school programs, sports leagues;
  • two free annual fitness consultations by professionally trained staff;
  • no cost babysitting and the ability to enjoy spa facilities;
  • access to more than 2,700 YMCAs nationwide.

Patrons of the Lake Theater in downtown Oak Park will see a brief pre-show movie trailer about YMCA membership on the big screen.

And, we have a new special initiative to introduce our professionally trained personal trainers available to all members.

During January, also we're offering significant discounts on packages of 6, 12 or 24 sessions. Our staff of professional personal trainers are prepared to help members gain strength, confidence and energy in individualized settings for maximum results.  

We've just received a most wonderful New Year's gift from you our members-the early results of the annual SEER Analytics survey conducted by an independent national research organization that evaluates how members rate various aspects of their YMCAs.

With a very healthy 19 percent response rate, this year's SEER results indicate that the West Cook YMCA improved over the previous year and met or exceeded national performance levels in nearly every category measured. 

We are pleased to have received excellent marks on such areas as staff helpfulness, friendliness and efficiency as well as recognition of the cleanliness of the facilities.

We're pleased to announce that with the New Year, we have two new members of the West Cook Y professional staff.

Nicole Gladney has joined us as Residence Director and Sergio Perez is the new Healthy Living Coordinator.
Nicole earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Services at Southern Illinois University. Earlier in her career in the health and sciences profession, she served as a mental health/substance abuse counselor and a senior clinical coordinator.

She also has experience as a program director managing several housing programs and sites.

As the Y's Residence Director she will manage services for the occupants of our 127 rooms-the only resident program in the Chicago metropolitan area outside of the city.

One of the special programs Nicole will participate in is a continuing relationship with Housing Forward (formerly West Suburban PADS) that provides HF clients who are homeless with a private, supported and stable living environment while they work to self-sufficiency goals. She also will be the West Cook Y's coordinator in the delivery of hot diners to Housing Forward residents and other Y residents in cooperation with the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry and Rush Oak Park Hospital.

A native of Chicago, Nicole aspires to assist underprivileged individuals acquire stable housing and treatment services one step at a time.

Sergio earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chicago history at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Focused on providing his clients personalized assistance in reaching functional strength and conditioning and if needed, corrective mobility and movement without restrictions, Sergio is certified in several exercise and fitness regimens. Among them are: World Instructors Training Schools  (W.I.T.S.); Personal Training; Functional Movement Screen ( FMS); Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA); Y-Balance; Russian Kettlebell; and Battlerope.

Sergio says that one of his guiding principles is that "life moves fast, so we best move with it." He is focused on assisting clients reach their goals efficiently and safely and loves motivating and teaching people of all ages, from children to seniors, "to get up and move."

My pledge to you in the New Year, as a cause-driven charitable not-for profit organization focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, is that the West Cook YMCA will do all in its power and resources to deliver on our promise of strengthening the health, fitness and well being of the residents of the ten west suburban communities we serve.

May you have a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Phillip Jiménez, President and CEO

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