A brand new day

It’s just the Y now, officially, but don’t worry, the C is still there.

“I’ve heard from people with concerns about ‘dropping the C,’ as some have phrased it. But ‘Christian’ is still in our mission statement. It’s just not in the name anymore,” said Jeff Fife, the executive director of the Waynesboro Y.

The YMCA of the USA announced last month that it was updating its brand to now call itself the Y. Ys across the country will be transitioning to the new brand over the next five years.

The idea behind the change is to align the Y brand with the terminology that people usually use to refer to the organization.

“We are changing how we talk about ourselves so that people better understand the benefits of engaging with the Y,” said Kate Coleman, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of YMCA of the USA. “We are simplifying how we describe the programs we offer so that it is immediately apparent that everything we do is designed to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve health and well-being and support our neighbors and the larger community.”

“The intent of this change is to bring us all together and refocus us better as to who we are as an organization,” Fife said.

The move was made after an exhaustive market analysis done by the YMCA of the USA that found as good news that the Y logo was the second most recognizable logo among consumers in the United States, and as the not-so-good news that people had a hard time explaining what the Y’s mission was.

The rollout of the new logo and brand coincides with a national effort aimed at raising public awareness of the Y’s core values in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

“This is a very important, exciting time for the Y,” said Neil Nicoll, president and CEO of YMCA of the USA. “For 160 years, we’ve focused on changing lives for the better. Our commitment to building greater awareness for the important work we do will enable us to expand our efforts and further strengthen communities across the country.”

“It’s not about changing who we are or what we do. We see this as an opportunity to celebrate who we are and to celebrate the diversity of our organization,” Fife said.

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