Name: Jenny Miron
Position: General Manager, Shawnessy YMCA
Years working with the YMCA: 10 years with the YMCA, 5 as the general manager in Shawnessy.
Describe your role:
To support and provide leadership to the staff and volunteers who provide services and deliver programs to members and the community. I do this by working closely with full-time directors to ensure that we’re upholding good quality programs, good customer service, and being financially responsible.
What made you choose the YMCA?
I have actually been part of the Y since I was a baby. My father worked for the Y for 25 years, and I grew up going to Camp Chief Hector as a camper. When I finished university with a Bachelor of Physical Education, I knew I wanted to be in the recreation area, and the Y just seemed to be the right choice for me. It’s always been part of who I am and the values and the culture of the Y is important to me. I think being a camper at Camp Chief Hector, as well as the skills I learned and the people I met there, shaped me to be the person that I am.
What makes the YMCA different from other recreational facilities?
One of the big things that I think separates the YMCA from other gyms is the people. Factors such as where a gym is located and its hours draw people in initially, because it’s close to their home and they can get there easy. But what keeps people staying is that culture that is created when they come in. And that’s created by not only the staff and the volunteers but also by the other people who are there. That’s one thing that we really focus on – the relationship building piece. It’s good and it’s important to sit and have those conversations with members and find out who they are and why they’re here and what they’re doing.
I also think that we are able to meet a lot of different people’s needs. We can help everyone from new moms who need some place to go to seniors who are coming in just to continue to stay fit. There’s a wide variety of people that we assist. And we are also able to assist people through our opportunity fund, which I think is another unique part of being part of the Y.
How has the YMCA positively impacted your life?
Immensely. Being a camper instilled the Y values (caring, honesty, respect and responsibility) into me, and that continued on through life. The Y is important to me, and now that I have a daughter, bringing her to the Y and having it be a part of her life is an important thing as well. I think the YMCA has shaped who I am and it has given me lots of opportunities to grow as an individual and to grow professionally.
What has your best experience here been?
The best experiences for me are when I see people I’ve interacted with through different programs being positively impacted by the Y. Like being somewhere in the community and having a child from camp come running up to me calling me by my camp name. Or seeing people signing up for memberships with their families because of an experience they had at the YMCA earlier in their own lives.
What is your favourite thing about working at the YMCA?
What would you say to someone thinking about joining the Shawnessy YMCA?
You’re joining a larger community, a larger family, and our staff and volunteers are going to be here to help and assist you in achieving whatever it is you want to achieve. It’s unique in Shawnessy because there’s always something going on. So you can always try to find something here that might spark your interest. So have fun, and enjoy, and let it become part of who you are and what your family does.
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