Ballard Boys & Girls Club director transferred to Federal Way

Updated: After 25 years in the neighborhood, the popular executive director of the Ballard Boys & Girls Club has been transferred. Mark Hendricks has been reassigned to head up the Federal Way club, while the director there, Shelley Puariea, takes his place in Ballard.

The news of the leadership swap came in a letter to staff members and the board of directors. The CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, Calvin Lyons, met with staff and board members in a private meeting today to discuss the reasons behind the decision.

After the meeting, Lyons told My Ballard that he made the decision to transfer the two executive directors to “put the strengths where the strengths are needed.” He declined to offer any specific details behind the decision, calling it an internal HR move. “I believe that any of our leaders can have opportunity to grow skill sets in other areas,” he said. “I’m excited, and I’m hopeful that these organizations will support this transition.”

Hendricks has been director at the Ballard club since 1987. “There’s so much more he wants to do here,” board member Diane Larson said. “He doesn’t want to go.” She said Friday’s meeting was the “fight of our lives to save him,” but Lyons told us the transfer is moving ahead, effective on Monday with a 30-day transition period.

“I’m glad that folks are passionate,” Lyons said when we asked about the community’s reaction (see the comments below and this post in the forum). “My hope is that they continue to support the kids in the areas, that the clubs can support this transition for these two great leaders, and that kids remain the focus.” He said he wasn’t worried about any impact on fundraising by Hendricks’ departure. “My expectation is that Mark and Shelly would continue to nurture their relationships to ensure that donors are stewarded properly.”

Hendricks made vast improvements at the Ballard club over his tenure, including a complete remodel and expansion of the building and assisting with the introduction of the Graduation Assistance Impacting Needy Students (GAINS) program at Ballard High School.

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