To the Ballard Boys & Girls Club community:
I am so sorry for any distress that the recent news about Club Director Mark Hendricks transfer to Federal Way has caused you and the people around you. Change is hard enough, but it is not helpful when there are missing details. Thank you for your email and contact. I am reading every word and I appreciate your concern. I apologize that it has taken me a few days.
Sadly, you are hearing primarily misinformation about the Ballard and Federal Way Club Director switch. Rumors and innuendo preempted the transition communications. For example, I had hoped to tell you that we need Mark’s skills to improve another essential part of the Boys & Girls Club of King County organization to ensure the viability of the clubs as a whole. I’m truly sorry that you did not have the benefit of that type of information.
So, as of today, let us start from the top. In this letter, you will find answers and facts about the switch between Mark and Shelley Puariea, the Federal Way club director (see below). If you don’t find the information you need in this letter, I encourage you to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I want you to be fully informed. Regardless, I will be sending you periodic emails to ensure you have the most recent information, especially because we will be making long-term improvements throughout the county in the future months.
Before I share much more, I want you to know that all the children that we serve at Boys & Girls Clubs of King County are my and my staffs’ utmost priority. That is why I took on the role of organizational leader. We are responsible for their well-being, and we take this job seriously. So seriously, in fact, that we know that our model needs to improve so that we can do the best job to ensure they get what they need to build a great future. Currently, our organization is facing a deficit that is unacceptable to the Board of Directors and to me. I cannot allow that deficit to happen because it is essential that we are able to better care for our staff so they can continue to provide the excellent care that is their passion.
I value hearing from you and your community members. Please keep sharing your thoughts. Your constructive feedback will allow us to do a better job in everything that we do. The decision to make the leadership switch will not change, but I know that the information you share with me will help me do a better job of keeping you informed about what is occurring. I know that Mark is on board and we had a great meeting today to continue the transition. We are currently working to set up public meetings to open the door for greater dialogue. Please look for that information. I look forward to meeting you in person.
President and CEO
ANSWERS AND FACTS
BALLARD/FEDERAL WAY CLUB DIRECTOR SWITCH
· Confirmation of switch. It is true that I have switched the personnel in the Ballard and Federal Way Club Directors roles, and we are currently working through the transition details. Mark Hendricks is becoming the new club director for Federal Way and Shelley Puariea will be the new Ballard Club Director. This transition will happen over a month’s time and they will both be available to answer questions and guide each other after the transition.
· 30-day transition. Many reports are that I gave Mark and Shelley only 48 hours to make the change. That is far from the truth. I would never ask these two seasoned and valued leaders to conduct such a major change within a short time period. Mark and Shelley are developing plans to complete the transition in 30-days. I am looking to them to lean in and help us move forward.
· Reasons for change. Our enterprise-wide organization is currently looking at a deficit in December, which is unacceptable. We can no longer afford to take our staff for granted. We need to take care of people so that they can continue to take great care of children. I have the charge of creating a financially sustainable organization that serves the mission of creating a positive place for kids. Currently, parts of our business model are not working efficiently which means that not all clubs are offering the same kind of programming that all kids deserve, no matter their neighborhoods. As a result, I am working on realigning the organization so that we are exceeding our parents’ expectations in terms of their children’s lives. Because our current team members are the best, I am working to resolve these internal issues by transitioning various team members into new roles.
· Why switch Mark and Shelley. The reason for this change is that both have strengths that will help us ensure that the Ballard and Federal Way clubs are doing an even better job of serving the mission to create a positive place for kids. While many say that both clubs are already great, it is important to note that there are many missed opportunities for the youth in these areas. In Ballard, we need to invest in our Be Great Graduate program and align with a new program at Ballard High School called GAINS Success. Shelley has national recognition for her expertise in developing educational programs and John Hopkins University is currently studying her current Be Great Graduate program. Mark, on the other hand, is an expert in elementary-aged programming and we need him to help us expand our reach in the South Sound because of the need. He also is a master at procuring alternate funding streams, which will be a tremendous asset to our kids.
· Change speed. Just like with all businesses, I am leading an organization that has program, metric and financial deadlines. Currently, my primary focuses are to put the right people on my team in the right places to ensure that we have consistent program offerings, comparable youth experience in all clubs, efficient use of resources and enough revenue county wide to support the well-being of our youth.