December 03, 2018
Polly Rhodes, Membership Experience Director, has been a pillar for the Kroehler Family YMCA in Naperville for over 17 years. From aquatics staff to Youth & Family director, and now membership director, she has taken on a number of roles and contributes to making the YMCA a place where everyone has an opportunity to grow and thrive.
“Being able to provide a welcoming place where everybody is essentially equal and they can work on their healthy lifestyle or make new friends is important, especially during a time where there's so much division,” she said.
Polly is passionate about giving back and being there for the community. She works with Families Helping Families (FHF), a Bridge Communities partner that helps guide families to self-sufficiency. Through this partnership, families are able to get subsidized memberships to the Y. FHF contributes a set amount per family to the annual fund to support this so the families do not have to have a copay. In all, the YMCAs in Naperville gave $465,000 in financial assistance to families in 2017.
The friendly and welcoming culture of the Kroehler YMCA is inspiring to her. YMCA staff greet members by name, and Polly says the members and coworkers keep her at the Y.
Empathy is something Polly and the Y team have embraced and are doing all they can to best serve the people who walk through the Y’s doors. “You just don't know what people are dealing with behind the scenes,” she says.
The YMCA has been an important part of her journey through different life stages, including providing a good and flexible environment for her children to grow up in. Now high school students, one of them is following Polly’s footsteps and works in aquatics at Kroehler Family YMCA.
Polly has been able to grow and learn at the YMCA and hopes to continue to do so. She has a business degree with a concentration in industrial distribution management. She’s working towards a graduate certificate in human resource management and development at Michigan State University, which she is close to completing.