We’re extremely excited to continue our Y’s Cause-Driven Leader initiative to recognize staff members who manifest our cause-driven culture in their character and attitude. These employees further the Y’s mission through exemplary service to the Y, our community, and/or their fellow employees. They live our cause each day and are welcoming, genuine, hopeful, nurturing and determined.
Please join us in honoring and congratulating the following Y employees for their service to our community in 2022:
Bob Howe, December 2022
Bob has worked in the Wellness Center for the past 15 years and really cares about our members. He is often referred to as the “Mayor” of the Wellness Center as he greets members by name and is easy to talk to. Bob has a unique ability to connect with people of all ages and strives to ensure all members feel comfortable and welcomed at our Y.
Eva Saint, Bob’s supervisor, shared, “Whenever needed, Bob always jumps in to help. He is very well respected and loved by members and staff alike.”
Trina Bennett, November 2022
Nominated by one of her co-workers, Trina has just started her 25th year with the New Canaan YMCA in our Rainbow Station preschool program. Her fellow teachers say that Trina is kind and patient, with a great sense of humor. She takes an interest in others, and asks about members, their families, past members, staff….she is quick to jump in wherever she is needed or to adjust her hours as needed.
Her supervisor, Suzy Pfeifer says “Trina has worked in all the classrooms. She always goes where needed, and all she will ever say is ‘I got your back, Suz!’” Her co-worker says, “she makes my days happier and easier, and I really appreciate her!”
Thank you, Trina, for being such a dedicated and loyal member of the New Canaan YMCA team – you ARE a Cause Driven Leader!
Ida Lupinacci, October 2022
Ida makes the special effort to ensure that every new staff member at the Y feels welcome, informed, and included. Ida’s role as Assistant Director of Human Resources makes her one of the first people new staff members meet, and she takes the time to connect with everyone with kindness, communicating that the Y is a friendly and great place to work. Often, Ida needs to go to extra lengths to make sure staff are onboarded in a hurry, and despite the extra work, she gets the job done with a friendly attitude. Ida clearly appreciates that the Y is the first employer for many of the people we hire, and she makes sure that the experience is friendly, educational, and as easy as possible.
Ida is also a strong advocate for current staff, always making sure that everyone is treated fairly. Ida’s attitude, helpfulness and wonderful representation of our Y make her a Cause-Drive Leader!
Matt Busse, September 2022
Over the past several months Matt has moved from working in water as our Director of Pool Operations, to working on land as our Youth, Family and Camp Y-Ki Director. Not only did the transition in roles happen overnight, but Matt also had to jump right into the planning of camp which was a huge undertaking. Never one to leave others in a lurch, Matt also committed to helping the aquatics department with a smooth transition– so in the midst of planning camp and taking over Youth Programs, he also made himself available to Emily, our new Aquatics Director, for any and all questions or assistance including jumping in the guard chair at 5:00am.
Matt represents the YMCA through and through and can always be counted on if anyone, members or department, needs help.
Julie Ballard, August 2022
Julie personifies the term cause driven leader! Julie knows every member that walks through our doors by name, and never fails to greet them with a warm hello and sincere inquiry as to how they are doing. When Julie is in the building you can be sure to also find fresh flowers and hear her laughter rise up the stairs. Most impressive, is what Julie does quietly. She sees a member’s needs and responds to them before they can ask for assistance.
Recently, Julie was observed approaching an elderly member who was carrying a bag and using a cane as she walked through the lobby. Julie walked alongside her and while chatting, discreetly transferred the bag to her own arm and escorted the member to the locker room. Julie didn’t ask the member if she needed assistance, she just gave it in a respectful natural manner.
Julie fulfils our cause in how she treats each member. She is welcoming, respectful, helpful and warm. Our community benefits every day that Julie is at the Y.
Ron Morton, July 2022
Whether Ron is working in the Wellness Center or at the Front Desk, he always gives members the warmest welcome, greeting each and every one by name, asking how their day is going, and ensures that they feel comfortable as soon as they walk in our doors. Ron has only been at our Y for a year and a half, but in that short time, he has managed to make a very favorable impression on many members. More than once a member has contacted his supervisors to let them know how much they appreciate Ron’s helpful attitude and friendly disposition. Ron’s willingness to help, warmth, and outgoing personality enable him to provide superior service to the Y and our members, in a genuine and sincere manner. We are extremely fortunate to have Ron as part of our Y family.
Rebecca Evensen, June 2022
Rebecca is our Assistant School-Age Director, our full-time pre-K teacher during the school year and Assistant Director at Camp Y-Ki during the summer. Rebecca plays an important role in youth development at our Y. For the past year, Rebecca has worked to build our pre-K program. Her hard work brought a positive classroom experience to our students helping them to develop a love of school, eagerness to learn and achieve kindergarten readiness. Even before the school year ended, Rebecca started working with Matt to prepare for Camp Y-Ki, where she will play an integral role in delivering a fun, inclusive, authentic camp experience to hundreds of young campers. The many young people with whom she interacts benefit from her positivity, energy and dedication to their enrichment.
Diana Riolo, May 2022
Diana’s enthusiasm, energy, and creativity furthers the Y’s mission every day. She administers the Y’s financial aid program, ensuring that no one is turned away for the inability to pay. Diana also plays a large role in the Y’s social responsibility initiative supporting FAFU, our partner school in Kibera, Kenya, through her work in organizing our annual fourth grade sponsorship program and summer LemonAid stand fundraisers. Finally, she helps lead the Y’s staff annual appeal, planning fun activities for staff members to come together while supporting the Y. Her hard work, enthusiasm, and dedication help make the Y a better place for our staff and members.
John Rosa, April 2022
John Rosa literally keeps our doors open. It seems that the majority of issues we face in a day result in a phone call to John, and he always answers. John can fix anything, solve any problem and knows our building better than anyone. John is among the Y’s longest serving and valued staff members over the last 17 years. We owe John our sincerest thanks and appreciation for to his attitude and willingness to lend a hand.
Kayleigh Follis, March 2022
Kayleigh continues to demonstrate she is a cause-driven leader contributing to both our Rainbow Station and Bouncing Bears programs. Kayleigh is always willing to help where she is needed and comes to work each day ready to care for and bring happiness to our youngest program participants.
Mariella Montoni-Scofield, February 2022
Mariella’s recognition comes from her dedicated, creative, and enthusiastic efforts toward making our Y better every day. Mariella arrives at the Y (often directly from her full-time job) with a friendly, helpful, energizing, and inclusive attitude. She connects with staff and members, making everyone’s experience fun, rewarding and happy!
Rich Mack, January 2022
Rich was recognized for extraordinary customer service. In January, Rich responded promptly to a member in need of emergency medical assistance. The member credited Rich’s professionalism, caring, and calmness under pressure with saving his life.
Congratulations to our Cause-Driven leaders! Do you know a Y employee who you feel should be honored? Submit a nomination form online at https://www.newcanaanymca.org/cause-driven-leaders/