We have identified experts covering all aspects of fitness, membership, wellness, aquatics, recreation, and adult programming for those who are 50 years-plus. Read about them below and request a visit or video consultation through the buttons to the right.
Barry Baumfalk has been with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City since 2011. ˙His current role is senior director, of fitness, sports, aquatics and membership. In this position, Baumfalk oversees a team of 20 managers who are responsible for the departments of fitness (personal training, group exercise, CrossFit, member experience desk and fitness floor), sports (baseball, softball, racquetball, karate and more), aquatics (swim lessons, swim team and U.S. Masters Swimming), as well as the functions of membership (sales, acquisition marketing, retention and more).
Baumfalk has been a certified personal trainer for more than 20 years. This role has helped him provide important insights to identify and apply trends in the fitness industry. Additionally, he spent more than a dozen years in the for-profit industry in personal training management, club management and multi-club management roles with organizations including Bally Total Fitness, Crunch Fitness and Equinox, in highly competitive markets such as Chicago, which allowed Barry to tackle the Kansas City market with a unique and successful track record.
Since arriving at the J, his primary focus has been to revitalize the fitness and sports departments from revenue, growth and awareness perspectives. Baumfalk is results-focused: Core membership units have increased from 2,400 to more than 3,300 and are poised for continued growth. Personal training gross revenue at the J has increased from less than $100,000 to more than $500,000 annually. Adding programming such as Meshugge CrossFit, J Box, Rock Steady Boxing, Paddleboard Fitness + Yoga are a few areas where growth has been achieved in addition to positive awareness of the J. Overall, revenue in all fitness-related areas has significantly increased under Baumfalk’s leadership, with many of the programs he has introduced receiving recognition, including awards from the local Jewish Federation.
Baumfalk’s prior experience in the engineering industry has allowed him to voluntarily serve as an innovative project manager on numerous construction projects at the J. A major locker room renovation, group exercise room additions, free weight room renovation and CrossFit extension are a few examples. Overall, his assessment of space and outside-the-box thinking have proven beneficial to growth, not only in fitness and sports, but within other departments at the J as well.
Baumfalk possesses a genuine passion for the fitness industry and for excellence in the “total member experience” ultimately allowing members to become healthier human beings. Strategically and tactically, from facility cleanliness and aesthetics, to first-rate customer service and inspirational team management, Baumfalk is continually geared-up for success—and it shows, in the Kansas City J’s growth/retention, Member satisfaction and increasingly stellar reputation.
Areas of expertise:
- Membership (structure, pricing, team training, commission structure, acquisition marketing and more)
- Personal training (program systems, pricing, payroll, staffing and more)
- New programming or program refinement (budget, creation, space assessment and more)
- Project management (new build, renovation, architecture and contractor relations)
- Creating partnerships and sponsorships for events and programming
Vice President, Health and Wellness Services
JCC Association of North America
As JCC Association vice president for Health and Wellness Services, Becker acts as a resource for JCCs and camps in the United States and Canada, assisting the field programmatically as well as professionally to become the fitness, membership, recreation, wellness and aquatics leader within their community.
Becker, along with his colleague, Mark Horowitz, JCC Association’s vice president and director of the Sheva Center, have created a health program, Discover CATCH, focusing on preschool children that is currently in over 80 JCCs. Becker has designed strategic partnerships with collaborative organizations, among them the NFL, NBA, United States Olympic Committee (USOC), Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Let’s Move. He is currently working with other youth serving organizations such as the YMCA, YWCA, Boys & Girls Club, Salvation Army, and others to address child abuse prevention.
Becker also created JCC Signature Programs, Cycle For Good (the JCC Hanukkah cycling fundraiser) and the 100 Days of Fitness Summer Challenge.
Becker sits on the USOC board for multisport organizations, creating partnerships with USA Swimming, Triathlon, Volleyball, and more. In 2018, he received the Champion of Inclusive Health from Special Olympics for a grant he wrote for JCCs to receive funding for program excellence.
In 2010, Becker was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Four years later he received the President’s Council On Fitness, Sports & Nutrition–Community Leadership Award.
Prior to working at JCC Association, Becker was the fitness and aquatics director at the Marcus JCC of Atlanta, Georgia for four years, and the Westside JCC in Los Angeles, California for more than two decades. He currently oversees the JCC Preferred Vendor and Program Partner initiatives, helping to create partnerships with such programs and organizations as Rock Steady Boxing, Go4Life, American Red Cross, Hadassah, Medical Fitness Association, American Council on Exercise.
Becker graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from UCLA and received his teaching credential from California State, Northridge.
Areas of expertise:
- Staff evaluation and training
- Program creation
- Program evaluation
- Renovation/Expansion evaluation
- Sponsorship and partnership building
- Implementation of Discover CATCH
- Building fitness programming to increase ancillary sales
- Create wellness partnerships
- Aquatic operations evaluation
- Grant writing
Audrey Edwards has been at the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston for more than two decades. In her current role as health, fitness and wellness director, she oversees all children’s enrichment and specialty camp programming, adult programming and health, wellness and fitness programming. She also works very closely with membership especially with retention, onboarding, enhancing members’ experiences and driving new sales.
Edwards is a certified well coach, a certified personal trainer, a STOTT Pilates instructor, an instructor trainer for Discover CATCH and a certified Parkinson’s cycle instructor.
She has worked with a number of JCCs over the years to help them identify areas that need improvement, to work on renovation projects to plan for growth and the future, and to implement programming to increase ancillary income and growth.
In 2017, Edwards was awarded the Chuck Bronz lifetime achievement award by JCC Association. This award is given to someone in the JCC field who exemplifies the qualities of leadership and dedication to the JCC Movement, and who has worked to help and support others in the movement.
Edwards worked directly with the National Parkinson’s Foundation as a pilot site to roll out a wellness initiative funded by the Safra Foundation. The initiative has been very successful, and the program has been a differentiator for the JCC of Greater Boston, as well as valuable for its development department.
What Edwards loves most about working in a JCC is the diversity of the membership. Whether helping a teen take control of their weight, a senior working to regain balance and stability, building children’s programming for the ELC and community, working with young adults with special needs or training the ELC staff and students about Discover CATCH and having a healthy lifestyle; Audrey is passionate about the positive effects healthy living can have on people’s lives.
Areas of expertise:
- Creating onboarding programming for membership.
- Working with membership models and adjusting them as needed to fit the diverse membership base.
- Financial management of businesses.
- Implementation of Discover CATCH early childhood as a way to bridge Health and Wellness and Early Childhood within a JCC.
- Identifying areas in the agency that need improvement and developing programs to make improvements.
- Building Fitness programming to increase ancillary sales.
- Creating wellness partnerships/programming including writing grants.
- Professional development with staff.
- Identifying collaborative opportunities between departments within the JCC.
- Sports and Recreation/specialty camp programming.
- Experience with In Touch, Medallia, Retention Manager, Mind Body
Seth Hazen brings more than 20 years of nonprofit and for-profit recreation experience, to his role as leading and managing the Peninsula Jewish Community Center’s Byer Athletic Center (BAC). The BAC consists of a 50,000-square-foot fitness facility that has more than 10,000 members. It includes two fitness floors, four studios (group exercise, yoga, Pilates and indoor cycling), two pools (indoor and outdoor), a spa and childcare. The BAC is located on a 12-acre campus in Foster City, California. Its flagship program is a year-round swim school program that serves 1,300 children weekly, which Hazen implemented during his first year at the J, where he leads a team of 10 full-time managers and approximately 210 staff working together, guided by the JCC’s mission.
Prior to joining the Peninsula JCC, Hazen served communities in California and Washington working for the YMCA. He got his start in aquatics as a beachfront lifeguard for summer camp programs, before moving on to run a volunteer taught preschool aquatics program. Hazen has served as an aquatic facility consultant and fitness standards specialist for both nonprofit and for-profit recreation centers around the country. He holds a bachelor’s degree in recreation from California State University-Eastbay.
Areas of expertise:
- Membership models and new member on-boarding
- Ancillary revenue programming—personal training, group exercise, Pilates, spa, aquatics, childcare
- Operational site evaluations
- Facility renovations/improvements
- Technology – CRM, Salesforce, GymSales, Medallia, Mind Body, Fitmetrixx, WhenToWork
- Aquatic standards and swim school implementation
Bill Kirkner is the senior director of aquatics programs and facilities at the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Baltimore, where he has worked since 2006. In this position, he oversees one of the largest swim schools in the country, the competitive swimming programs, and an extensive certification program. Since 2012, he has worked closely with the local foundation to develop a comprehensive capital development program for maintenance and improvements to an extensive aquatics infrastructure.
Bill is a certified American Red Cross lifeguarding and water safety instructor trainer. He is also certified as a National Swimming Pool Foundation instructor, and is authorized to teach Certified Pool Operator courses by the State of Maryland. Bill has taught at several American Red Cross Instructor Trainer Academies, and has helped train instructors for the Boy Scouts of America at their National Aquatics Conference at the Florida Sea Base.
Bill started his career as an attorney, having been admitted to the Maryland bar in 1992 after graduating from the Georgetown University Law Center. For many years, Bill was a sought-after consultant on the use and commercialization of the internet. He co-authored over a dozen books on the use of internet technologies, and client list included the U.S. Department of Defense, Marriott Hotels, T-Mobile, Sprint, the Country Music Association, and performers Vince Gill and Reba McEntire. He later worked for MCI, then as the CTO of early consumer internet provider, Prodigy, and later for the South American division of Gilat, an Israel-based satellite communication company.
Bill swam for Loyola College (now Loyola University) in Maryland and worked as a lifeguard, coach and swim instructor through his college years. He returned to aquatics in 2004, following an injury. Since then, he has served as a subject matter expert for the last two versions of the American Red Cross Lifeguarding program (2012 and 2017.) Bill was appointed to the USA Swimming National Diversity and Inclusion Committee from 2011–2015, and served as that group’s chair for three of those years. He has served as a member of the Maryland Swimming LSC board of directors since 2010, and currently serves as their operational risk chairman and general counsel.
Bill considers his most important work to be the development of young staff members from rookie lifeguards into young professionals. He has previously written that he considers his JCC’s lifeguarding staff to be one of that agencies “largest and longest running teen programs,” with an emphasis on developing job and customer service skills that transcends the normal expectations of part-time employment. His alumni from the last decade include dozens of doctors and lawyers, but also many other medical professionals (EMTs, Paramedics, Nurses, Occupational and Physical Therapists), members of the military (both US and IDF), police officers and even some high tech entrepreneurs.
Areas of expertise:
- Risk Management (both specifically in Aquatics and also for general agency operations)
- Staff leadership development and training
- Developing and promoting commercially successful aquatics and certification programs
- Compliance with local/state/federal administrative laws and regulations (including: OSHA, right-to-know, clean air/ clean water, Department of Labor requirements for seasonal/ part time staff, etc.)
- Capital planning for aquatics facilities
- Pool/ natatorium operations
- Development of staff hiring/training/in-service/development models.
- Medium/long-term capital and staff planning based on current and pending laws and regulations (such as the Model Aquatic Health Code)
- Implementation and development of competitive swimming programs and leveraging USA Swimming membership
- Developing mutually beneficial partnerships with partner agencies
- Evaluation and development of swim school programs, policies, and performance.
Todd Landwehr is currently the general manager of the Indianapolis JCC, where he has worked since 2001. Since he was hired, he has worked as a personal trainer and summer manager before becoming the director of aquatics. In his present role he oversees all membership, sports, fitness, aquatic programming and operations at the JCC. Landwher leads a team of 15 full-time staff and approximately 185 part-timers, who work to enhance the experience of roughly 11,000 members at the J.
Landwehr majored in exercise science as well as physical education from Butler University with minors in health and history. He also earned his MBA in 2011 from Butler University.
Along with the American Red Cross, Landwehr has certified more than 1,000 lifeguards in the last 16 years, as well as more than 35 lifeguard instructors. He has taught water safety instructor courses for the past 11 years in the community, and at Butler University, as adjunct faculty. He has also taught other courses at Butler University, including physiology of exercise, essentials of sport conditioning and strength training, introduction to HPERD (health, physical education, recreation and dance) and has served as an intern supervisor.
Areas of expertise:
- Leadership and supervision
- American Red Cross training and water safety
- Risk assessment
- Organizational management – including project management, forecasting, budgets
- Just about anything aquatics related
As the founder of Double Nickel Strategies, a consulting firm dedicated to helping organizations engage adults 55 and over in meaningful ways, Barbara Raynor offers JCC’s a wealth of passion and experience as they seek to more effectively engage this large, dynamic, and influential target population.
Barbara began her career as an award-winning advertising copywriter, broadcast producer, and marketing professional who helped a diverse array of clients build their brands and achieve their business goals. Outside her career, she dedicated considerable time to volunteering in the Jewish community where she served on the board of the Jewish Federation of San Antonio, the Jewish Community Center’s Early Childhood Community, and was active in her synagogue, in addition volunteering in the broader community.
After twenty years, Barbara moved from the for-profit world to the non-profit world where she served as the chief marketing officer for Jewish Federations in Houston and Denver. She successfully helped these organizations reframe their marketing and messaging to make it more relevant to their target audiences, grow their donor bases, and modernize their branding efforts.
In July 2010, Barbara was hired as the founding executive director of Boomers Leading Change in Health, a ground-breaking, grassroots effort created to mobilize adults 50 and over in Metro Denver to help underserved populations connect to healthcare resources. Under her leadership, Boomers Leading Change engaged hundreds of Adults 50+ as volunteers, AmeriCorps Encore Members, health coverage guides, and Encore Innovation Fellows who collectively provided life-changing (and at times, life-saving) assistance to more than 90,000 people over just six years.
While at Boomers Leading Change, Barbara established partnerships with dozens of organizations, included the Robert E. Loup JCC, where they collaborated on the creation of an intergenerational Center for Living Well and the introduction of the National Council on Aging’s Jewish Aging Mastery Program©. She was appointed by Mayor Michael Hancock to serve on the Denver Commission on Aging, and by Governor John Hickenlooper to serve on Colorado’s Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging.
Barbara is a sought-after speaker on topics related to aging, ageism, and the civic engagement of Adults 55+, and the author of numerous essays and articles on the subject for local and national publications. She also serves as an Encore Network Leader.
Barbara holds a B.S. in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin. Her husband, Stuart Raynor, is CEO of JCC MetroWest in West Orange, NJ, and they are the parents of adult twin daughters.
Areas of expertise:
- Creating innovative programming for Adults 55+
- Effectively marketing to Adults 55+
- Harnessing the skills and experience of Adults 55+ to build the capacity of your JCC
- Breaking down organizational silos through intergenerational programs
- Strategic planning and operations
- Cultivating internal and external partnerships
- Project management
- Professional development
- Financial resource development, grant-writing, and reporting
Howie spent 20 years at the Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. In his most recent role as, senior program director, Howie oversaw all athletic programming, including the largest youth sports program in the country for Jewish Community Centers. He was also an active manager in many other program areas including special needs, teen services, Jewish learning, camping, wellness and the pre-school. Howie is a budget guru and managed up to 23 departments with an approximate budget of $5 million.
Howie has consulted with many JCCs over his tenure and has been influential in streamlining processes and expanding programmatic offerings. He has experience in non-profit management as well as volunteer recruitment and training. In 2015, Howie was awarded the Chuck Bronz award by the JCC Association in recognition of his leadership and dedication to the JCC’s mission.
Howie has worked with the National Senior Olympics to bring the Atlanta Senior Olympics to his JCC, and has recently completed the Jewish Experiential Leadership Institute (JELI), a leadership and professional development program designed for JCC professionals, that is a joint initiative between JCC Association of North America and the Jewish Theological Seminary. The program helps professionals bring experiential Jewish learning to each avenue of its JCC. Howie has developed a curriculum for mid-level managers to provide leadership skills to help the growth process as each develop their leadership skills.
Howie enjoys building programs from scratch and developing them into revenue generating and/or community building opportunities. Examples include; The Perimeter Gymnastics Program, 300 members strong, the MJCCA Dance Academy, the Transitions program for young adults with autism, and the Spotlight program. Spotlight is a weekly drama academy for adults with special needs. Recently the group made a short movie and it is currently being pitched to the Sundance Film Festival.
Areas of expertise include:
- Financial management and budgeting
- Program development and improvement strategies
- Program development with a Jewish lens
- Wellness partnerships and how to find them in the community
- Professional development with staff including mid-level management training.
- Mature adults and how the JCC can meet their needs
- Building large JCC Maccabi delegations
- Integrating volunteers and staff to provide programmatic excellence and build community
- Determining viability of competitive sports vs. recreational sports in all athletic areas
Brian Soileau has been in the wellness industry for more than 14 years with experience in the JCC, for-profit, and university fields. He currently works as a fitness, sports, and aquatics consultant at Terrace Level Consulting, and holds a position as the director of operations for the New Orleans Boulder Lounge, a rock-climbing fitness center in New Orleans.
Soileau was employed by the New Orleans JCC in multiple roles including sports and wellness director and assistant executive director, supervising fitness, youth sports, aquatics, database management, membership, summer camp, and marketing for more than 10 years. The fitness center, aquatics facilities, and summer day camps experienced great profitability under his direction. The membership sales department grew in overall family units from 1,800 in 2005 to over 3,000 in 2017. The personal training department also saw growth in sales from $215,000 in 2005 to over $415,000 in 2017. Soileau managed a strong team of more than 100 employees to not only keep the facilities open, clean, and accessible to members, but also to find ways to thrive in certain areas of the business that had not shown previous success. In addition, he was able to develop both current and new business ventures and membership sales for the entire organization through strong non-profit management, leadership, marketing, and innovative program design. He also has experience in small and large scale renovation and expansion projects from his time at the JCC.
Soileau also worked for JCC Association of North America for four years, serving as the sports and wellness and membership consultant. He visited more than 80 JCCs in the U.S. and Canada, providing staff training in sales, program development, customer service, data and database management, and member engagement. While at JCC Association, Soileau gained experience in developing multifaceted business systems in order to create and track key performance indicators, evaluating progress for new renovation projects, allowing for review and evaluation of financial systems by many different levels of staff, and generating business planning tools for multiple departments and facilities in JCCs in the United States and Canada.
His expertise in youth sports and fitness comes from his vast professional experience, as well as from his extensive involvement in recreational and competitive youth sports leagues in and around the New Orleans Area for a period of over 15 years. He is currently on the board of the New Orleans Spartans FC, a local developmental and competitive soccer club.
Areas of expertise include:
- Membership (structure/models, pricing, sales team training, and new lead generation)
- Renovation/Expansion (owner representation, determining specifications, marketing, contractor relations, and fundraising)
- Personal training (systems, pricing, profit margin, staffing, and more)
- Program analysis (budget, space assessment, competitive analysis, and more)
- Sponsorships (finding new partners, agreement/contract creation, and more)
Jason Stowell is the health and wellness division director at the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh and oversees several departments at both the suburban South Hills location and the city Squirrel Hill location. These departments include: Personal Training, Health Center memberships, Group Exercise, Aquatics, Sports and Recreation, Maccabi, and Dance. Since joining the JCC, Jason has implemented a number of industry best practices that have led to significant growth in revenues across departments.
Stowell has worked in the fitness industry since 1996 and after years of successful performance as one of the top fitness sales managers commercially, he moved into the non-profit world at the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh in 2012 in search of an improved work/life balance.
With almost two decades experience as a personal trainer, Jason has worked one on one with hundreds of clients. Notably, in 2017, one of his clients with learning disabilities was awarded with an Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award (Espy) from ESPN presented by First Lady Michelle Obama for his inspiring participation in the Special Olympics.
In 2018, Stowell was recognized with a “Who’s Next in Fitness under 40” award in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
With a passion for pursuing knowledge and educating others on best practices, Stowell has presented on a number of fitness business topics at conferences across the country. Most recently he presented at the JCCs of North America Professional Conference on the topic, “Elite Sales Strategies for the Fitness Professional.”
Stowell is a contributing writer for a number of fitness publications both online and in print. Fitness professionals can follow him at ClubSolutions.com, ClubIndusty.com and Community Rec magazine.
His ultimate goal is to enhance people’s lives by providing enriching experiences to all members and professionals he encounters. He strongly believes that relationships created should be transformative and not simply transactional.
Areas of expertise include:
- Consulting, coaching and club management
- Facility assessment
- Strategy review
- Market position assessment
- Staff assessment
- Sales trainings
- Personal training
- Talent management
- Strategic integration of fitness and membership teams
- Untapped sources of revenue
- New programming
Matt Wever is senior director, facilities at the St. Louis Jewish Community Center, where he has served since 1999. He oversees operations at the J’s three campuses —two fitness and program facilities, and Camp Sabra. He manages all aspects of buildings and grounds operations, including renovations, routine and preventive maintenance, facility operations, use and rentals.
Wever served as lead staff during the multi-million dollar planning, construction and renovations of all St. Louis J facilities over the past 20 years, including the 155,000-square-foot Staenberg Family Complex, the Marilyn Fox Building renovation, and the ongoing renovation of Camp Sabra, a more than 200- acre residential camp. Each of these renovations led to significant increases in membership, attendance and revenue.
Wever’s formal education is in community recreation facilities programs, including service and construction. He received his doctorate in education from Saint Louis University. He enjoys the challenge of coordinating requirements of staff and participants with those of architects, engineers and contractors to ensure programs, services and operational essentials are achieved through successful facility projects. Wever has developed an operations manual that provides examples of best practice principles, checklists, and information related to the success of facilities. He frequently consults with other JCCs as they consider renovations to stimulate revenue growth.
Areas of expertise include:
- Project management (renovation, new construction, large and small facilities, working with architects, engineers, contractors, JCC staff and stakeholders)
- Best practices related to renovation and construction design, equipment, and facility finishes
- Financial background and accountability associated with various-sized construction projects and facility operations
- Facility operations—checklists, protocols, best practices
- General liability and facility related agreements
- Familiarity with JCC programs and services as they relate to facility design, renovation and construction