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Susquehanna Life

Miller Center for Recreation and Wellness Names Jim Mathias Executive Director

Jun 10, 2015 08:27PM ● By Kevin

The Miller family, lifelong residents of Lewisburg and owners of locally-based playground and fitness equipment manufacturer Playworld, today announced the appointment of Jim Mathias to executive director of the Miller Center for Recreation and Wellness. 

"Plans for the highly anticipated community wellness center are moving forward thanks to state grants, private donations and partnerships with community organizations," said Matthew Miller, CEO of Playworld and father of four. "Now that we've got the baseline funding covered we are delighted to have Jim on board to help guide the vision and development of the center." 

The Miller Center for Recreation and Wellness will be located in the Penn House Commons development alongside the nine-mile Buffalo Valley Rail Trail, making it convenient for people throughout Union County. As executive director, Mathias will oversee the development of the facility, which will include multi-purpose hard surface courts, activity rooms, areas for group exercise, gymnastics and other sports and fitness activities.

For the past four years Mathias served as president of the board for the Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority (BVRA). He will step down from that role to devote his full time attention to this new endeavor. "I'm very excited about this new opportunity and what it means for the residents of Union County and the surrounding region," said Mathias. "My previous experience leading private business and non-profit organizations will help ensure that the new Miller Center for Recreation and Wellness delivers on its vision."

As Executive Director, Mathias will be responsible for all operational aspects of the center and will work with relevant parties to develop a long-term, sustainable business plan. Initially, he will collaborate with architects, engineers and community resources to finalize planning for the facility, slated to open in 2016. 

Mathias will be the conduit to BVRA to optimize existing programs and bring relevant new activities to one centralized location. In the future, it's anticipated that BVRA programs, including gymnastics, field hockey, basketball, futsal and volleyball will move to the new center. The center will also include an indoor/outdoor café, nutritional programs, and additional wellness-related programs and amenities.

"The future is extremely bright not just for this new center but for the economical growth of the region. Those traveling to the center for clinics, camps, or tournaments will also utilize area hotels, restaurants and shops," added Mathias. 

The Miller Center for Recreation and Wellness will also collaborate with Geisinger Health Systems to bring unique research opportunities to the center. The organization will be tracking health outcomes of programming delivered for individuals. The Miller Center for Recreation and Wellness also plans to offer early childhood development services, as well as expand BVRA's successful summer camp and outdoor nature programs.

About The Miller Center for Recreation and Wellness
For more than 40 years and three generations, the Miller family has been dedicated to making a positive impact on the health and well-being of people around the world. The family's Lewisburg-based company, Playworld, manufactures playground and fitness equipment to create the best play spaces for people of all ages and abilities. The Miller Center for Recreation and Wellness represents the family's commitment to improve health and wellness services and opportunities to citizens living throughout Union County. 

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