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New Year Resolutions from Industry Leaders


On January 1, millions of people in America take time to reflect on the previous year and make a promise to themselves to do something differently in the new year. Below, three industry leaders share the greatest lesson they learned in 2019, and their resolutions for 2020:

Steve Albert, executive director, Mittleman JCC

“The greatest lesson I learned in 2019 is don’t provide members with concerning information unnecessarily. We anticipated we would have to curtail our pool hours for a month-long period during a staff shortage and communicated this information to members. In the end, we hardly ended up changing the hours at all, but many members were upset about the initial communication, despite the fact that the anticipated closures never took place.

“My resolution for 2020 is to take further steps to make part-time employees feel like a part of the team. With an employee base that is mostly part-time, it’s hard to ensure everyone feels they are ‘in the know,’ and it’s important to take steps to enhance communication to those staff members whose time on campus is limited.”

Todd Rockoff, president and CEO, Tucson JCC

“The greatest lesson I learned in 2019 is to be persistent and flexible in your work, and the goals you set are within your grasp.”

“My resolution for 2020 is to spend more time with members, donors and our staff as together, we continue the work of building and strengthening our community.”

Cynthia Piersol, president and CEO, YMCA of Palestine

“The greatest lesson I learned in 2019 was such a simple thing — movement is the secret to life. I see so many people, both young and old, who cut every corner and move as little as they can. But in reality, you should move every chance you get. Take the stairs, not the elevator. Walk instead of catching a ride when your destination is a few blocks away. Run and play with your kids, grandkids or dogs. Walk to the next store in the strip mall instead of driving. And, of course, when you get the chance to sit out or dance, always dance.”

“My resolution for 2020 is to make it a priority to move, run, play, dance and exercise as often as possible. My life and those I love depend on the amount of movement I get.”

Ivy Harlev, CEO, Siegel JCC

“The greatest lesson I learned in 2019 was to be more focused and present in all aspects of my life. It’s easy to get pulled in a million directions when you have a lot of responsibilities and people who want your attention. I would be doing myself and those I work with and the agency as a whole a disservice not to stop and give my full attention to what is in front of me. We always look for people who can multitask, but ultimately if people are giving everything a little attention is anything getting done thoroughly.”

“My resolution for 2020 is to focus on the future and strategize to be my best self for my community and not get caught up how things have been done in the past. Remember to be curious, look forward and take risks.”

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor of Community Rec Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com.

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