“We are there to lend an ear, talk to somebody, give somebody someone to talk to, be a positive influence on a kid and to be able to make that kind of impact on your community is just really awesome”, Greg Bouslog, Associate Executive Director
Part Time Employee to Associate Executive Director
The Valley of the Sun YMCA embodies a community and family of people who value developing healthy minds, bodies, and spirits for all. Appreciating the little ways to impact others, our employees find meaning in working side by side with our neighbors to make sure everyone has an opportunity to learn and grow.
Greg Bouslog started his impact on our organization and his community in 2010 as a part time Fitness Attendant at the Scottsdale/Paradise Valley Family YMCA, putting his passion for being a positive influence to practice. During his time as an attendant, Greg acted on the negative interactions he was observing at youth basketball games by stepping up to be a referee. As an individual who wants to spend time connecting with youth and members, he knew sitting back and watching sports spectators be disrespectful to each other during a game was not an option. Plus, Greg has always known he wanted to spend a career in sports, “I want to be in sports, I’m a sports nut. Everything in my life revolves around sports one way or another.”
Greg continued to offer his passion for the Y movement by saying yes to anything thrown his way. Growing as a Y employee in various roles, Greg worked his way up to being the Associate Executive Director of the Ross Farnsworth East Valley Family YMCA. He quickly embraced a role that carried more than sports responsibilities, including learning all things childcare and membership related. Regardless of having to learn and grow quickly in a new leadership position, Greg stands by his values to always do the small things that leave a lasting impact.
The Meaning of a Family First Organization
The Y is a family first organization that leaves lasting impressions on all individuals, regardless of age, income, or background. Greg shows up to work every day because of the realization that his career can offer pivotal moments to anyone who walks through the YMCA’s doors. “You don’t know what a person or a kid at home’s situation is, so being a positive role model for kids in the community is what it’s all about”, says Greg.
Engaging and getting to know Ross Farnsworth East Valley Family YMCA members and families has become a source of Greg’s empowerment to leaving his mark. What drives Greg is getting to know everyone that comes into the facilities, doing the small things like getting someone’s favorite food for a lunch meeting, and finding the moments to connect with others on their passions. It’s the moments where Greg can talk to an East Valley regular almost every day about college basketball because the member’s grandson is a player. It’s in these moments that our employees are creating community and offering pivotal conversations to make our members feel like they are at their second home, with their second family.
More Than a Career
To say Greg has impacted his community by creating connection and building himself as a leader is putting it lightly. He has taken advice from his mentors along the way to continually build upon his mission and lead a purposeful life within his career. Reflecting on his grandpa’s words of wisdom, “it’s easy to be good, but it’s harder to stay good”, Greg recognizes that he is always going to work hard and never get complacent or rest on his values. That goes to show in every role that he holds. Greg doesn’t just referee as the program needed one but steps up as volunteer Jr. Suns basketball team coach because he felt a purpose in doing so. Following in his dad’s footsteps who coached him growing up, Greg knew he wanted to do the same for his own kids. Because of his mentors and ability to leave lasting impacts, Greg isn’t just any coach. He is a coach that knows how to create a positive environment for the kids, parents, and referees in the sporting space.
One of the many influential tactics Greg uses with his Jr. Suns teams is letting them pick their team’s name. This past season, the team decided to be the Booker Jrs., embracing the liveliness of the valley while the Suns made it to the finals for the first time in twenty-eight years. The news took notice of the team as they showcased how Devin Booker is a role model that upholds the values Greg wants to instill in them. Greg expresses in an interview, “We would love for one of these kids to be the next Devin Booker, but we are more about teaching sportsmanship, being a good teammate, listening to your coach, respect, honesty and all of those fantastic things that make these kids better kids”. The team’s positive energy and inspiration from Coach Greg led them to get a special surprise from Devin Booker himself with a personalized video revealing a $100,000 grant to Valley of the Sun. The grant will be used to expand Esports programming and bring NBA2K tournaments to four locations across the valley. Greg was able to embrace the excitement his team got from hearing the personalized Devin Booker message and taking pictures with Suns Gorilla. These are the moments that kids are going to remember forever all because Greg has committed to always do the small things that make a big impact.
“It’s the impact we can make in the community. I love going out in the community and having people notice me, and not because I want to feel famous, but because that means I made an impact in their life and remembers me.”
To learn more about our sports programs, visit our website. Looking for a winter sports team for your child to learn and grow on and off the court? Registration is now open until December 27th! Click the link to sign up for your basketball and volleyball teams.
Inspired by Greg’s story? Listen to the Why The Y Podcast to hear more about how Greg serves his community with passion.
Rebecca Varney, Community Relations Coordinator, Valley of the Sun YMCA, striving to tell your #WhyTheY story.