New Haven native Joe Guise has been named director of the Community Center’s fitness program. He stepped into the job Dec. 1.

According to Mike Clendenen, New Haven Adams Township Parks & Recreation superintendent, the decision to hire a full-time director was approved by the Park Board several months ago. The move was made because the program has become much broader and more than could be handled by a part-time employee.

Guise's function will be to foster the growth of the fitness programs, come up with new programs, market the center’s facilities to groups and businesses and work closely with the staff.

Guise comes to the fitness center following seven years at Turnstone Center where he developed adaptive workout programs for intellectually and physically disabled individuals and worked with para-Olympic athletes. He actually began working at Turnstone while completing his degree in exercise science at the University of St. Francis.

The New Haven High School graduate hopes to broaden the center’s diversity by inviting individuals with disabilities to attend group workouts.

“Of course we’ll cater to the seniors by incorporating activities for people with health and physical challenges," Guise said. "One of my goals is to increase the variety of fitness classes offered and make them more community-oriented by extending them to the local parks. I also want to make the center available to off-season athletes with workouts that will have them conditioned when their sport begins."

“In addition,” Guise said, “I’ll be reaching out to businesses to establish corporate memberships at reduced rates for employees. This will be more and more important as the pandemic stretches on and people become increasingly sedentary.”

When the athletic field is developed in back of the center, Guise hopes to organize leagues for ultimate Frisbee, soccer and flag football.

Guise was a member of the high school golf team for two years, worked as a dietary aide at Genesis Nursing Home for four years, was a photo specialist at Walgreens in New Haven and was a part-time employee of New Haven Print. He’s a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

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