Neighbors, I would like to introduce you to Mattison Grey, new Board Chair of the Harriet and Joe Foster Family YMCA on W. 34th Street. Grey is a fascinating human all around and, excited to learn she is in a new leadership role at our community’s Y, I wanted to share a little about her with you because I find her an inspiration. Any time I spend more than 5 minutes with Grey, I learn something about myself or others.
Mattison Grey was elected as the Board Chair of the Harriet and Joe Foster Family YMCA in September 2018. She has served on the Board since she moved to Garden Oaks in 2004 and this is her first time as the Board Chair.
Grey said, “It’s a two-year term and I am very excited about leading this awesome group of people. There are approximately 23 people on the Board, many of whom are well-known community leaders. Our main focus is our annual campaign which funds financial aid and scholarships for our programs and membership. The YMCA strives to turn no one away because they can’t afford the programs. (Did you know that, neighbors?) This year our goal is to raise over $235,000 and give every penny of that back to our community through scholarships, free programs and financial aid.”
Grey learned to swim at the Y as a young child in Michigan, competed on a swim team for the first time there and eventually attended the University of Iowa on a swimming scholarship. She also worked at the Y in Houston and Fort Wayne, Indiana, briefly, as a young professional. Later, when she was more established and looking for a place to serve her community, the Y was an easy choice.
A former NCAA Division I athlete who found women’s rugby after college when she was looking for a new competitive outlet, Grey quickly rose through the ranks landing one step away from the USA national team before retiring to raise a family. In 2006 Grey took up the sport of Touch Rugby competing in numerous national championships and was selected to the USA Touch World Cup Squad in 2008. Her Touch Rugby Team placed second at the 2010 US Touch National Championships and third in 2017. Since 2015, Grey has served as the Mental Skills Coach at American Rugby Pro Training Center, finally achieving a lifelong goal of winning a national championship with ARTPC in 2015.
Grey has a history rich in sports and education making her a natural as a foot soldier and advocate for YMCA as well as an accomplished leader within the association.
A professional coach, leadership and performance specialist, coach trainer, author and speaker, Grey is continually exploring the art and science of human performance and high value coaching and helps people have extraordinary lives and businesses. Fascinated by the gap between low performers and high performers and what it takes for people to move from mediocre to masterful in their chosen endeavors, her leadership and coaching programs provide leaders with the framework to better understand employee behavior, motivation and performance in the workplace and teaches people how to bring out the best in those around them.
Grey shares, “My inspiration is my deeply held belief that ALL kids should have access to sports, swim lessons, after school programs, homework help, dance, fitness and day camp, regardless of their families’ financial situation. Much of the money raised in our annual campaign provides scholarships for these opportunities that many children would not have otherwise.”
There are now scholarships for YMCA membership through a program the Y calls Membership For All. This is wonderful news for so many!
“Each Y runs its own annual campaign and funds scholarships in their community,” Grey said. “The fundraisers are volunteers (board members and others) and staff, and the scholarships are administered by the staff, so every penny that is raised goes back into the community. Margaret Vandever is our campaign chair this year and the campaign has just started. If people would like to donate to this cause, I am happy to talk with them.”
You can reach Grey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-701-9486.
In other news, our amazing neighbor Pat Bonner, beloved coordinator of the HSPVA Music Department, earned the distinction of being the only teacher to have taught on all three HSPVA campuses. HSPVA’s students began classes this week at their brand new campus located at 790 Austin St.
Brooke and Caleb Jackson of Oak Forest went on a whirlwind trip to Taipei over winter break. Highlights of the trip were a gondola ride up the side of a mountain and a night market. The night market near their hotel had every type of “critter” served up on a skewer or deep fried. Brooke exclaimed, “The people were ridiculously friendly and the culture is just amazing. Everywhere was clean and the air so fresh. It was an amazing experience.”
A flight attendant, Brooke is always on the lookout for trips to share with her son and travel buddy, Caleb, a freshman at University of Houston Downtown and 2018 Waltrip graduate. Caleb was fortunate enough to be upgraded to Polaris business class coming home. Think seats where you can lay flat, plush blankets, pillows from Saks Fifth Avenue and alllllll the goodies. The duo jammed as much fun as they could into 38 hours in Taipei and hope to return one day.