Boys & Girls Club director to leave at end of May
BY CATHERINE HIRST - SPECIAL TO THE ADVOCATE
May 15, 2012 at 12:15 a.m.
Updated May 16, 2012 at 12:16 a.m.
At a time when most nonprofits are struggling to survive, the Boys & Girls Club of Victoria is expanding, largely because of the work of one staff member.
In the past four years, Marc Vendl, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club, has increased the budget, improved facilities and added programs.
"He inherited a club in disrepair, in debt and that was struggling," Bruce Woods, president of the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Club, said. "Now the entire facility has been refurbished ... and there is a renewed spirit among the kids."
Vendl, however, is leaving at the end of the month to move home to Indiana with his son.
"I'm a single parent and my son came to me and said he was ready for a change," Vendl said. "He wants to go where there is a supportive family."
The board is now looking for a replacement who will keep Vendl's momentum moving forward without being intimidated by the recession.
"Even during tough times, we stayed positive because my belief is that everyone wants to support a winning team, so that was what we created," Vendl said.
The Club now attracts 130 children per day, compared to 60 students per day before Vendl's arrival.
Vendl's primary strategy for the club was to reach out to the community and focus on improving the image of the Boys & Girls Club.
"He was able to re-establish trust that had been lost in the Victoria philanthropic community," Woods said. "And that was one of his greatest accomplishments."
In addition to improving operations, Woods said Vendl's time with the children has been life-altering for many.
"He has been a role model, a coach, a mentor, a shoulder to lean on and a disciplinarian when needed," Woods said. "He is not just an executive director."
Vendl, though excited about his move, will miss his colleagues and the students.
"He is real cool," said Zane Yates, 11. "He is kind of like a principal. He keeps everything in order. He makes sure you have everything in line."
Vendl's last day at the club is May 31. He will be on the selection committee for his replacement.
Vendl said the new administration should continue to focus on operational funding and improving the image of the club.