Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB) announced the appointment of Josh Kraft as the new Nicholas President and CEO, succeeding Linda Whitlock, who announced last year that she would step down on June 30, 2008 after 10 years of leading the organization. Kraft, who assumes his new role on July 1, was selected following a thorough national search conducted by executive search firm Gilbert Tweed Associates (GTA), in collaboration with a BGCB Search Committee composed of Board leaders and chaired by Director Brian Knez.
In a letter to Board members, donors and program partners, Sandra M. Edgerley, Chair of the Board of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, said, "Josh brings a broad range of relevant experience, exceptional leadership skills, and deep commitment to youth development and BGCB to this new role."
"Over the past 18 years I have had the distinct privilege of working with our committed, professional and compassionate youth development and administrative staff, and our generous, diligent and committed Board of Directors," Kraft said. "The entire staff thanks Linda for her charismatic, thoughtful and accomplished tenure as the Nicholas President and CEO. It will be a true challenge to step into her role, but I am eager and ready for this opportunity."
He added, "I will cherish the memories of working in Chelsea for the past 15 years, and express my sincere gratitude to the dedicated and caring staff, our local board and business community whose unwavering generosity and strong leadership make a big difference in Chelsea."
Kraft joined BGCB in 1990 to manage an outreach program with at-risk youth at the South Boston Club, and is the Founding Executive Director of the Jordan Club, where his determination, commitment and passion for helping youth created a safe haven for thousands of young people in this underserved community. He built and successfully managed an extremely loyal staff and deeply engaged local Board, led major local fundraising campaigns, and piloted innovative programming. He has served on a number of senior staff search committees, helping BGCB recruit talented management staff. In addition, Josh manages several community relations programs as President of The New England Patriots Foundation. He is well-respected across the city and has received numerous community awards.
Brian Knez said, "We conducted a thorough search to ensure that we found the best candidate for this demanding and critical position. At a time when BGCB is poised for growth, fundraising expertise was a significant requirement of the new CEO. In Josh I believe we found the right mix of leadership skills, fundraising expertise, strategic thinking, and commitment to Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston's mission of serving youth."
Candidates were evaluated on a number of factors, including leadership skills, fundraising capability, commitment to and knowledge of youth development, management skills, strategic vision, cultural fit, and strength of character. Gilbert Tweed Associates (GTA) managed a national search that encompassed nearly 250 potential candidates and that led to the selection of Kraft as the finalist. Kraft was approved by a vote of the Board of Directors on May 8.
"During Linda Whitlock's 10 years as Nicholas President and CEO, she firmly positioned the organization as a leader in youth development in Boston and beyond, and ensured that we have a roadmap to continue to deepen our impact," Edgerley said. "Because of her extraordinary leadership, we are poised for this significant growth, and we are deeply grateful to her for all that she accomplished on behalf of our members and their families."
She added, "Josh is the right leader to guide the organization through the ambitious expansion we have planned to serve more youth who need us across Boston and in Chelsea."
The Nicholas President and CEO position at Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston was named in 2006 in recognition of Pete and Ginny Nicholas.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston
Since its founding in 1893, BGCB has provided high-impact, affordable programs and services that enable at-risk youth to mature into productive, caring and responsible adults. Today, BGCB serves nearly 14,000 young people, ages 6 to 18, in nine Clubs across Boston and in Chelsea, through our Youth Service Providers Network (YSPN), a partnership with the Boston Police Department; and Camp Harbor View. BGCB's core programs focus on education; technology; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; life skills and leadership development. BGCB is an affiliate of Boys & Girls Clubs of America and The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. For more information, visit us on the web at www.bgcb.org.