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Favorite takeaways and lessons learned from recapping 2022 Community Rec Magazine cover stories.

Every year, I look back and pause in disbelief of how fast the months went by. It feels like yesterday the Community Rec Magazine team drove up to Cincinnati, Ohio, to photograph Jorge Perez and the Cincinnati Y team for the 2022 January/February issue.

2022 has been full of adventures — from attending my first NAYDO to announcing the inaugural Community Rec Leadership Summit and working on a fresh slate of cover stories. With that said, I wanted to share some of my favorite takeaways from this year’s issues.

YMCA of Greater Cincinnati

Starting with that first trip to Cincinnati, in the January/February issue we learned about infusing joy and the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati’s new strategic plan.

“Our new strategic plan lays out the vision of the organization,” said Perez, the president and CEO. “My hope is this journey moves us from a place where people work out and buy fitness to a place where people find joy and happiness; where they find achievement, relationship and belonging.”

YMCA of Greater Cincinnati

Jorge Perez, Kate Hanisian, Sarah Giolando-Martin and Roddell McCullough.

Boulder JCC

In the March/April issue, Jonathan Lev, the executive director of the Boulder JCC, shared what makes the JCC a central place where people of all ages and backgrounds gather.

“Our JCC was built on the belief that through meaningful engagement, our community would be incredibly philanthropic,” he said. “We’ve built a team of fundraising professionals who work in concert with our program teams to provide opportunities for engagement, connection and community.”

YMCA of Central New York

In the May/June issue, Bertram L. Lawson II, the president and CEO of the YMCA of Central New York, taught us what it means to have a lion mentality.

“I talk to the team and board about having this mentality and I call it a lion mentality,” said Lawson. “At the end of the day, I have the responsibility to make the best decisions to move our organization forward, so I lead with merit as part of the team, working as a team where people matter.”

YMCA of Central New York

Bertram L. Lawson II.

YMCA of Greater Monmouth County

In the July/August issue, Laurie Goganzer, the president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County, shed light on combatting the mental health crisis.

“Our work in mental health has also raised the visibility of our Y as a social services organization,” said Goganzer. “The world is not just seeing us for our pools, fitness centers, or gyms, which is oftentimes the case for the YMCA nationally.”

YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago

In the September/October issue, Dorri McWhorter, the president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, discussed innovation and imagination.

“Innovation is a result of creating or discovering something new,” said McWhorter. “If we do that well, then I expect there’s going to be possibilities that unfold we haven’t thought about as people lean into their own potential and possibilities.”

Dorri McWhorter

Dorri McWhorter.

The Sidney and Pauline Friedman Jewish Community Center

And in the November/December issue, Gary Bernstein, the CEO of the Jewish Community Alliance of Northeastern Pennsylvania, provides tips on fundraising, leadership and cultivating relationships.

“You have to connect with the community, go where people are and not wait for them to come to you,” said Bernstein. “If there’s a key component of success in JCCs, community rec centers, etc., it’s developing relationships.”

Thank you for another wonderful year of learning and developing relationships. I look forward to even more firsts in 2023.

Brittany Howard

Brittany is the editor of Community Rec Magazine. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com.

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