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Cabarrus Magazine

The Cannon YMCA Names a New Leader; Adds Equipment

Jan 22, 2014 11:12AM ● By Jason Huddle
Concord – Not long after the Cannon Memorial Y West Cabarrus Branch opened its doors in 2003, Brent Rockett, a young Appalachian State University graduate began working there as a fitness specialist and personal trainer.  One decade and many Y success stories later, Brent has a new assignment and a fresh outlook as the Executive Director of the West Cabarrus and Harrisburg branches.

Brent is a 2003 graduate of Appalachian State University with a degree in Health Promotions.  He has guided many to better health through his work at West Cabarrus, University City, and Harrisburg Y branches, serving as Fitness Director, Managing Director, Operations Executive and Executive Director.  As a member of the Rotary Club of Southwest Cabarrus County, Brent is a Rotarian at heart and is the 2013-2014 club president.

Although many have improved their well-being with Brent’s help, he sees it the other way around.  He feels that they are the ones who have touched him.  When asked to reflect on his most memorable Y experience, Brent thinks briefly and answers with a slight smile, “I remember assisting a young man who had suffered major, life-threatening injuries from an accident.  He came to the West Cabarrus Y shortly after it opened to participate in a post-rehabilitation program.  I clearly remember his progression from a wheelchair, to a walker, to two canes, down to a single cane and then walking with no assistance greater than his leg braces.  It took several years of tough times and hard work, but his resolve was amazing.  It gave me two realizations: one, if he could persevere through that then almost anything is possible through hard work and determination and, two, if the Y could mean that much to a person and make that kind of difference in someone’s life, then it was where I wanted to make a career.”

Brent’s primary goal for 2014 is to focus on member service through Y staff training and program re-vitalization.  “This year we will re-focus our attention by listening to member wants and needs.  Our members and volunteer-members are the lifeblood of our organization.  It is vital for us to meet their wishes in all areas of their Y experience.”

Brent’s assignment as Executive Director is one of two recent changes at the West Cabarrus branch.  The fitness department rolled out 43 new pieces of equipment in early January.  The new strength equipment is a sturdy, powerful line that is user friendly, better serves members of all exercise levels and proportions and was designed to ensure proper biomechanical motions.  Each cardio machine offers personal viewing screens and many include interactive user options such as such as iPod/iPhone connectivity, many varying pre-programmed workout routines and even video of running courses from around the world.

Brent is a sports enthusiast, die-hard UNC and Carolina Panthers fan, and resides in Kannapolis with his wife Barbara and son Liam.

For information regarding Brent’s new assignment or the new equipment, please contact Rhonda Poppen (rpoppen@cannonymca.org, 704.933.9622, extension 648).

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