YMCA reinvests in members and community with new leaders, fitness equipment and renovations

Under the leadership of President & CEO Phillip Borup, the YMCA of Reading & Berks County has made significant investments to create better experiences for members, staff and the greater community it serves. After updating its business model to operate as an association in December 2023, the Y has installed new state-of-the-art equipment, grown its leadership team, continues to make facility renovations, and has begun rebranding.

“The positive changes we’ve started have already created a new vibrant energy in each of our locations. It’s also powering momentum as we continue evolving our Ys to fit the specific needs of the communities we serve, which includes being a community hub where they can enjoy leisure activities with their friends and families, meet new friends, and explore new activities that interest them,” said Borup. “We’re seeing tremendous response and it’s only the beginning.”

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The YMCA of Reading & Berks County is comprised of five branches located in Adamstown, Mifflin, Reading, Sinking Spring, and Tri Valley. Each location has installed top-of-the-line Precor fitness equipment for strength training, weightlifting, and cardio that have touchscreen consoles that allow members to track their activities and workout goals as well as keep them entertained through media they can stream from their devices.

Photo courtesy of YMCA of Reading & Berks County.

Rebranding Over the next year, the YMCA of Reading & Berks County will undergo enhancements inside and out – from fresh paint to exterior signage – to create a visual consistency among its branches using the blue and purple Y logo and primary color palette.

Rebranding with a unified ‘family look’ helps reinforce the business model it adopted in December 2023 to operate as a unified association rather than as each branch operating individually. “We are stronger by operating in a more unified manner. It positions us to provide more benefits to our members and make a greater impact on our community,” said Borup.

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Borup reinforced the importance of the role nonprofits play in the community and their inherent responsibility to carry out their mission, which is why the YMCA is prioritizing growing membership revenue that it reinvests in directly in building programming and accessibility to impact people in our community socially, financially, and physically. For those who cannot afford memberships, the Y offers scholarships and financial assistance for families who qualify to have access to programs regardless of their ability to pay.

“Your participation brings about meaningful change not just within yourself, but also in your community. You are supporting a nonprofit that exists solely to help the community thrive and to nurture individuals and families to be stronger in body, mind, and spirit,” said Borup.

Finding meaning and empowerment to discover, learn and grow is the foundation of this year’s brand campaign, “Find Your Y”. The messaging is intended to remind people to see what the Y has to offer and to encourage them to find purpose and fulfillment in their lives.

New Leaders & Staff Appointments Reinvesting in internal talent and resources is also a focus for CEO Phillip Borup and COO Kenneth Borkey, Jr. who have worked diligently in creating key roles, developing career paths and providing coaching for leadership. Two new faces joined the leadership team, Vice President of Marketing and Communications Christina (Chrissy) Faller and Sinking Spring Branch Executive Director Jesse Whiteman.

Christina (Chrissy) Faller, vice president of marketing and communications, is responsible for brand marketing and communications strategy, advertising, social media, web, and public relations for the association. She will also build an infrastructure for traditional and digital marketing and communications at the association-level to increase visibility for the Y, drive interest and traffic for programming, and engage members and the community at large. Faller’s key initiatives include rebranding the five branches as one unified association sharing the same visual brand identity.

Prior to the Y, Faller managed content strategy for Caron Treatment Centers spanning advertising, PR, social media, web, and search engine optimization to optimize exposure, promote educational resources and thought leaders, and support access to treatment throughout the pandemic. Previously, for a combined 15 years, she served as public relations director and senior account manager in full-service agencies, The Anderson Group based in Sinking Spring, Pa., and Reese Integrated Marketing formerly in Wyomissing, Pa., where she developed and executed national, regional, and local campaigns. She served in marketing positions at Santander Bank, Wyomissing, Pa., and Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center, Lancaster, Pa. as well as volunteer roles for several community organizations including the Vision Resource Center of Berks County.

Jesse Whiteman, executive director of Sinking Spring YMCA, is responsible for the management and operations of the facility. His proven background and knack for program development, systems improvement, and human-centered design are an asset to the Y’s operations.

Prior to joining the Y, Whiteman was the MBA Program Director and Director of Operations for Eastern University’s College of Business and Leadership, St. Davids, Pa. In these roles, he worked to redevelop the MBA program through coordination of university departments, which resulted in nearly a ten-fold increase in enrollment over the first two years of the program’s launch. With passion for community, Whiteman is committed to developing the atmosphere and space where members of any background know they belong and can thrive.

Additionally, the following leaders have been elevated to new positions to: Brandy Sterner, chief financial officer. Brandon Shurr, vice president of branch operations. Shelley Eppihimer, vice president of youth development. Sarah Beissel, executive director of human resources. Kris Danner, executive director of administration. Gena Pina Garcia, executive director of social services. Angela Harrison, executive director of member engagement. Jonathan Johnson, youth development program director & center manager of Mifflin YMCA. Alec Heckman, youth development program director & center manager of Tri Valley YMCA. Amber Fox, digital media engagement director.

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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