Jim Clark joined Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), the largest network of facility-based youth development organizations in the world, as president and CEO in January 2012. He has guided the organization through the launch of an exciting new strategic direction, the Great Futures Impact Plan. Under his leadership, Clubs are increasing impact on the young people they serve by focusing on three priority outcome areas – Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles.
To ensure BGCA provides the best possible service to its member Clubs, Clark spearheaded a major restructuring of the national organization. He has introduced innovative programming that supports the three outcome areas in ways that are fun and engaging – such as state-of-the-art STEM initiatives and Brain Gain, a program to combat summer learning loss. His focus on outcome-driven programs is matched by his commitment to a comprehensive system for measuring Club impact, which, in turn, empowers Clubs to improve their services and do even more for young people.
Clark has also launched the largest resource development effort in BGCA’s history, the Great Futures Campaign. Slated to raise $450 million over six years, the campaign supports the national organization’s wide array of services to local Clubs, with an emphasis on key areas such as child protection and safety, executive and board development, increasing Club attendance, boosting high school graduation rates, and fighting childhood obesity.
“BGCA’s vision is to ensure that every child who enters our doors is on track to graduate from high school, with a plan for the future,” says Clark. “Our mantra is ‘local, local, local’ – the national organization was founded by local Clubs in 1906, and our role then, and now, is to do everything we can to help our Clubs provide great futures for the kids who need us most.”
Clark leads a network of more than 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs that serve some 4 million young people annually through membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in all 50 states, in large cities and small towns, in public housing and on Native American lands, and on U.S. military installations across the globe. More than 50,000 professional staff members operate the facilities and programs, supported by some 285,000 board and program volunteers.
Prior to joining BGCA, Clark spent eight years as president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. He led the development of a dynamic growth and impact agenda, launching programs that drove outcomes in literacy, high school graduation, teen services and college preparation. He achieved seven consecutive years of revenue growth and added 17 new service locations. Before taking the helm, Clark was an active board member in Milwaukee for 10 years.
Clark also enjoyed success in the publishing industry, where he served in senior leadership roles in distribution, sales/marketing and customer service operations. He led new business development, acquisitions and mergers as well as process improvement initiatives.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Clark received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with a major in finance and marketing. He lives in Atlanta, the home of BGCA’s national office, with his wife, Samantha, and their two sons.
Chair of the Day
Blair Naifeh was born in Oklahoma City. Since 2008 he has served as vice president of Naifco Realty Company, primarily focusing on the commercial assets the company holds. Prior to that he served for two years under Congressman Tom Cole leaving the office with the title of senior legislative assistant. Prior to that he was an assistant Public defender here in Oklahoma County. Blair holds a BA from DePauw university in Greencastle, IN, a JD from Oklahoma City university and an LLM from university of Miami. Blair is the current Chair of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County’s board of directors and is a member of Club 29. He is married to his lovely wife Stephanie and has three children Gabriel, Leilah and Rose.