Boys & Girls Club to seek new leader

CHAMPAIGN — The Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club will look for a new executive director.

The club's board announced Wednesday it has decided against renewing the contract of its current executive director, Andre Arrington, and will immediately begin a national search for someone to replace him.

Board officials said the decision was made after much deliberation to see the club excel in the future and move the club, board and community forward with future programming and funding plans.

"We just feel refreshing the well is where we need to be at this point," board president Toney Tomaso said.

Arrington, who has been with the club for 10 years, will remain on to help with the transition while the new director search is under way.

A board announcement said Arrington has served the club well and built a solid foundation.

The club just ended a tumultuous year. Four of its board members resigned in 2011, new officers took their place and financial stresses continued.

Tomaso said the decision not to renew Arrington's contract was deliberated for five months. It wasn't "directly attributable" to those issues — but was made from more of a big-picture standpoint, he said.

"I just believe that we might have maxed out at where we were," he said.

The Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club has a wonderful organization that just needs to be re-energized, and "we need to get the community to put its arms around us in every way," Tomaso said.

Tomaso talks of times in the past in which the club has had to reach out to the community in financial crisis.

"We don't want to be that organization any more," he said. "We want to stand on our own two feet without crying out."

Arrington said he's been working with the board on this decision, and for the moment doesn't have future job plans.

"In any scenario, there's always transition," he said. "I've been here 10 years, going into my 11th year, just looking for opportunities to grow and move forward."

Arrington said during his tenure, the club has served more children and had record attendance. It's also broadened its scope to include children's mental health and to look at the whole development of a child, to family support services and to better support services for their children.

"We've met many community needs," he said.

Looking ahead at the club's future challenges, he says, the club needs a new facility, and it needs to grow its not-for-profit foundation fundraising to support its programs.

Arrington said he hasn't decided whether he'll remain in the local community. That depends on where his next opportunity is, he said.

"We'd like to thank the community for all the support — our giving has had record levels — thank parents for entrusting us with their kids and thank everyone for prayers and support over the years," he said.

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20@cu-sharp.net wrote on January 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm

It was bound to happen sooner or later, burning bridges would be an understatement.