Today: Jul 04 , 2020

Nicole Kennedy Appointed Interim Executive Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central AZ

11 February 2019   Donna Werking

New Interim Executive Director; Award-Winning Leadership

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona Continues Mission to Develop Full Potential Among Youth   

PRESCOTT, AZ, February 12, 2019 – The Board of Directors for Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona (BGCCAZ) has unanimously appointed Nicole Kennedy to interim executive director, effective immediately.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona offers affordable after-school and summer programs for youth ages 6 to 18 in Prescott and Prescott Valley.  Its award-winning programs are designed to change the lives of young people across four key areas: fun with a purpose; academic success; good character and citizenship; and healthy choices. 

Immersed in that mission, Kennedy has served as vice president of development since 2015 and actively engaged with the 15-member board, which in 2018 was honored for superlative leadership by Boys & Girls Clubs of America. That recognition came in the form of a 2018 League of Eagles Silver Award, earned by fewer than 15% of the 1,100 branches of the non-profit organization founded 160 years ago. 

Boards receiving the national Eagles Silver Awards have demonstrated tangible impact on local youth through operational excellence. The award recognizes 90 percent or more achievement across proven Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) employed to measure the governing strength of an organization through its board members collectively and individually.  

During her tenure with BGCCAZ, Kennedy has spearheaded the organization’s capital campaign.  She also has been a driving force behind the highly successful Dancing for the Stars (DFTS) fundraiser since introducing the concept to Central Arizona three years ago. The event has grown to become a significant contributor to the Club’s youth programs, now raising nearly 25% of the annual budget.

Under Kennedy’s leadership as interim executive director, emphasis will be placed on completing existing projects, including build-out of the new club in Prescott Valley, other funding initiatives through the capital campaign, final preparations for the 2019 DFTS competition, and enhanced programs supporting area youth.  

“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona have come a long way in the last few years under the leadership of Gerald Szostak and a committed board,” Kennedy affirmed.  “I am proud to be part of our mission of serving the youth of our community and am humbled to have been selected as the interim executive director as we continue to move forward. With the dedication of our board and staff, I look forward to continuing to grow our organization, both with the addition of space to address our wait list and to seeking new opportunities to improve our programs for youth, families and the community at large.” 

Kennedy succeeds Szostak, who has accepted a position with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix.  Szostak continues to reside in Prescott, remains vested in BGCCAZ’s success, and will be working closely with the team during the transition.  Due to the exceptional strength of staff and the award-winning board, the process is expected to be seamless.   

The board “is an amazing group of dedicated professionals all committed to creating a safe, inviting, program-rich environment for the kids in our community,” summarized board member and City of Prescott Police Chief Debora Black. “Our board members’ enthusiastic participation in fundraising, club events, and committee meetings exceeds all expectations and remains the foundation for our successful service to youth in our communities. With Nicole at the helm, it will be full-steam-ahead business as usual.” 

In addition to Black, the board consists of Joe Baynes, City of Prescott recreation services director; Linda Thein, community leader; Donna Werking, owner of Northern AZ Social, LLC; Michael Kouvelas, owner of the Hassayampa Inn; Alex Vakula, Attorney at Vakula Law Firm; Bryan Jarrell, Town of Prescott Valley Police Chief; Elena Sanwick, Realtor® with Luxury Prescott Real Estate; Drew Diener, Associate at Musgrove, Drutz, Kack & Flack PC; Steve Schott, financial advisor at Andy Tomlinson Wealth Management; James Carr, vice president of commercial lending with Foothills Bank; Travis Stedman, owner of Arizona Seamless Gutters; Tom Toth, owner of Prescott True Value Hardware; Matt Holdsworth, chief financial officer of Crossfit, Inc.; John Dunkel, vice president and financial consultant with  Charles Schwab; and Leza Lachapelle Dandos, radio personality at Great Circle Media.