I have been with the Y in Central Maryland for over 14 years and have the pleasure of currently serving as the Executive Director of Membership Engagement. The Y is a non-profit that has 3 pillars, youth development, social responsibility and healthy living. With over 3000 associates across central Maryland, this organization impacts lives every single day. As the Executive Director of Membership Engagement, I help to ensure members and program participants receive a top notch experience from the Y. Our associates are our members too! I get to deliver to them what we ask them to deliver externally every day. Our people are our greatest asset!
In 2017, the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching in partnership with the National Board of Medical Examiners launched the first National Board Certification for Health and Wellness Coaches. I took (and passed) the first exam that was offered and became a member of the first cohort to have passed the National Exam. I am continuously seeking out ways to stay relevant and up to speed in an everchanging field. That is part of what makes wellness so exciting. As the field continues to evolve, so must leadership.
Success Stories & Innovation
As an organization, the Y has invested resources into what I consider to be an integral component of wellbeing - appreciation. Out of our efforts to ensure associates not only knew they were appreciated, but felt it as well, the ShoutOut team was born. Individuals that serve in a variety of roles across the organization were identified to be a part of the team, which I co-lead. This team's entire goal is to ensure our associates feel valued and appreciated for the work they do every day. What began as an effort to make expressions of appreciation contagious has become ingrained in our culture.
The associate triathlon and the pedometer challenge for National Move More Day have become annual events our associates look forward to. Both create friendly competition - all in the name of camaraderie and fun! This year, 2 Y locations came in 2nd and 3rd place for National Move More Day with over 35 organizations and 100 locations participating. I have already heard some friendly rumblings for an internal rematch.
At last year’s associate triathlon, which is held every year in August, the CEO (who participated by riding the bike for his team AND whose team came in 1st place) challenged participants to recruit others. Leading by example is leadership in its purest form.
The idea of wellness and most people equating it with a ‘move more eat better’ mentality has evolved into comprehensive wellbeing. Wellbeing is multi-dimensional and takes into consideration that there are many pieces that make up an individual’s wellbeing. Organizations that focus on people, make every effort to create a positive culture and deliver multi-dimensional wellbeing programs are the ones that will attract and retain top talent.