Mike Cassidy’s 35-year career with the YMCA started as a weight room attendant in Arizona and continued to develop to his current role as COO at the YMCA of the East Bay. In each step of his journey, Mike felt the importance of staying planted to truly hone an entrepreneurial and creative attitude. For Mike, this has included a deep investigation into vulnerabilities of the Y Movement, and seeking affective solutions. This type of creative thinking served Mike and his branch well throughout the pandemic. Key takeaways in this episode include:
-Vulnerability as Opportunity- addressing our weak spots can help us blossom. Mike realized some key areas within his Y that could use some scrubbing, like requiring paper forms instead of online registration, and losing members to more expensive facilities. weight machines that don’t address members’ holistic fitness goals.
-Member Results Biased Program Strategy-this all began with a shift to functional fitness. Noticing that this type of exercise relies on natural movements of the body, Mike realized that building a functional fitness affiliate within their Y would help them prevent membership loss and better serve a range of fitness levels. Members of all ages are now able to engage in this programming and see improved fitness results from their efforts.
-Redesigned Fitness Centers- In adopting a program strategy rooted in results and data, Mike was able to see benefit in redesigning the space toward these efforts of achieving members’ goals. This was a heavy lift with lots of moving parts and coordination, but ultimately led to major growth in membership joins.
This interview took place on March 19, 2020.