YMCA bids farewell to executive director Mike Atkins

(Rockwall) August 30, 2012 – Mike Atkins began his service as a Sports Program Director at Rockwall in December 1997 and served in this role until January 2003 when he became the Executive Director of the Rockwall County Family YMCA.Mike’s last day with the YMCA will be Friday, August 31.

Mike Atkins gets groovy with YMCA staff members.

During Mike’s tenure he has led the YMCA through a significant population growth in Rockwall and has always been able to keep the YMCA on the radar of the community.


Mike will always be a friend of the YMCA and he and his family will continue to be involved with us into the future.

“The thing I am going to miss the most about Mike is our random – have nothing to do with the YMCA conversations.  I loved those conversations especially in stressful times – it would just give you a moment to relax, take a breath and begin again!  Through the ups and downs of Y life, Mike was more than a boss, he was (and still will be) a friend.  So to Mike I say ‘Boss, thank you for everything and being there for me even when it wasn’t easy!  Much love to you and your family.’”
~ Glenda Majchrzak, Business Services Director- Rockwall YMCA

(Left) Mike Atkins, who has served as executive director of the Rockwall Y since 2002, loses a bet that lands him in a dress, but celebrates victory for the YMCA and the families it serves. Team Bailey, led by Partners Campaign Chair Jon Bailey (right) turned in the winning pledge. Photo by Blue Ribbon News.

“Mike graciously gave me the opportunity to join the Rockwall YMCA staff team as the Membership and Wellness Director in 2008. 

As staff, we often talk about how good the YMCA is for children.  I can honestly say with first-hand experience that the Rockwall YMCA is great for children because of the tremendous role models we have on staff, like Mike Atkins.  

My children literally started going to the Rockwall YMCA when they were each six weeks old.  They had the incredible blessing of getting to know Mike from the time they were babies and they are better people now at four and two because of the relationship they have with Mike.  He has been a strong male role model, support, love, teacher, and fun for them and I will always be grateful to Mike for caring enough to help shape their lives.  We are just a few of the thousands and thousands of lives Mike has touched during his years of service at the Y. 

Mike is a remarkable individual who I have a tremendous amount of respect for and I am honored to call him my friend.   Mike and his leadership will be greatly missed at the Rockwall YMCA.”
~ Lindsi Smith, Executive Director- Airport Area YMCA

“My favorite memories are of Mike are coming to mine and the kids rescue. You see, he was the one I called, as the Family Programs Director, if I needed assistance. He loved to help out, anytime, and anyone that needed it.

I recall calling him for help with the bus one day. The old “White Thunder” ran out of diesel and I was stranded. Mike told me he was on his way.

He arrived with a gas can full of diesel and was ready to get me moving along. The diesel can would not reach into the tank as it sat back from the outer body of the bus. As he began to pour, diesel began to leak all over. With our hands covered, the diesel began to splash and leak all over. To keep the precious liquid, Mike and I used our hands and arms to do our best and get it in the tank. We did our best but half was in the bus and half was on us, including Mike’s jeans and boots. You see, Mike just did what was necessary to get the bus moving.

He always put the YMCA, the kids and the programs before himself, ALWAYS!  He is an amazing mentor, friend and I cherish the days that I was lucky enough to work for him.”
~ Adrienne “Rocky” Hergert, former Y employee

Mike Atkins participates in the Y's Zumba class as part of a fitness challenge he issued to the Y staff in April. Membership and wellness director, Liz Jones (right) logged slightly more fitness hours than Mike, landing Mike in Zumba class.

I have only known Mike for the past year when I came to work for the Rockwall YMCA as the Membership and Wellness Director, but I have always appreciated him as a boss and his easy-to-get-along-with nature (most days – haha).

He was always a good sport about things, like when we had a bet about how many hours we logged in a month working out and he had to come participate in Zumba class with me for losing the bet.  We made him wear one of the belly dancing scarves with “jingles” on it and he begrudgingly did it.

People in the community are always coming up to me when I am out, or at networking and community events and telling me that Mike is a great guy.  He served us well as our director and I always had to laugh a little bit that he is “such a guy” sometimes, but he was so used to dealing with a bunch of women (which he is predominately surrounded by at work and at home) he was always good about how he handled a very wide-variety of personalities.  He will be missed by all of his staff and by our members; we are glad he will still stay involved with the YMCA in other ways.

Liz Jones, Membership and Wellness Director, Rockwall YMCA.

Liz Jones is the Membership & Wellness Director at Rockwall Family YMCA, located at 1210 N Goliad in Rockwall.  She is a writer, certified yoga instructor, and wellness coach.  

Liz Jones can be reached at ejones@ymcadallas.org or 972-772-9622.