“When you can foster engagement among members, then two things occur: 1) the president’s job is easier and 2) members get closer to getting what they want.”
Former President, Central Park Track Club
For 6 years, Greg Cass served as the president of the Central Park Track Club, one of the cornerstones of running in New York City since 1972. Throughout his presidential tenure, Greg came to value the power of member engagement. Recognizing that a single leader might find it challenging to meet everyone's needs, he focused on the potential of collective efforts to extend the club's reach and better serve its community. “By leveraging the strengths of others, your community becomes stronger,” Greg affirms. “The more that you can make use of other people's strengths, the better off your community is going to be.”
Prior to running, Greg was a two-time co-captain of the men’s soccer team at Columbia University. Upon graduating, he traded his soccer cleats for running shoes and embarked on his running journey through the New York Road Runners races. Initially, he ran solo but soon realized that to compete, he needed a team's coaching and camaraderie.
Central Park Track Club provided the perfect fit. "I've forged lifelong friendships here," he reminisces, reflecting on his enriching 14-year association with the club.
Despite not fitting the typical extroverted leader mold, Greg served in a number of leadership roles, ultimately becoming President within a few years of joining. He learned to utilize his introverted tendencies to his advantage. “If solitude, where you can plan and piece things together, gives you comfort and confidence, don't shy away from it. Then when you have to step outside of your comfort zone, you’ll know you've done everything possible to set yourself up for success.”
As the club continued to excel, member communications and payment dues became a hinderance. The club relied on a website, texts, spreadsheets, and emails for communication and organization. These tools, however, failed to meet the board and members' standards, relegating communication amongst members to basic emails. Membership due renewals were an administrative, time-consuming endeavor.
Heylo solved both problems. The days of laborious email exchanges and manual data entry into sprawling Google spreadsheets are gone. Heylo’s streamlined payment tools have automated the burdensome administrative tasks, enabling Greg and the leadership team to concentrate more on members and the club’s mission, and less on managing spreadsheets. The introduction of a monthly membership plan has been so successful that it barely occupies Greg's thoughts.
Yet, what surprised Greg most was the surge in member engagement brought about by Heylo. "One of the most significant aspects of transitioning to Heylo has been the ease and increase in member interactions. Members, who may not otherwise have interacted, are now exchanging messages," Greg observes. Whether it’s race sign ups or shoe reviews, members are suddenly getting more value out of the club than ever before.
Transitioning to Heylo, however, seemed daunting, especially for a club deeply rooted in half a century's traditions. But Heylo's personalized onboarding system made it seamless for members. Since making the shift, Greg and the Central Park Track Club haven’t looked back.