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Waite is a rising star at BGCP

Boys & Girls Club of the Plateau CEO

Carmen Waite has a new feather in her cap

this month after being named Rookie CEO

of the Year by the Boys and Girls Club of

America.



CEO has overseen a 300 percent increase in average daily attendance

BY MICHAEL O’HEARN


Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau CEO Carmen Waite has a new feather in her cap

this month after being named Rookie CEO of the Year by the Boys and Girls Club of

America. She represents the Southeast region, which she said stretches from Florida to Washington, D.C., and the award ceremony occurred on Nov. 30 in Charlotte. The honor is the J. Richard Ullom Rookie of the Year award, and Ullom began his career with Boys and Girls Club of America as a program director in Dothan, Alabama, in 1961. He served with the Boys and Girls Club in Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida. In 1977, Ullom joined the Southeast regional staff and served as a regional service director, senior service director, and assistant

regional director until his death in 1994. “Dick was an outstanding leader in our

movement and worked diligently with clubs throughout the region to help them be

the best in service to children,” said Boys and Girls Club Director of Organizational

Development for the Southeast Region Jim Straight during the awards ceremony. The

Rookie of the Year award was established a year after Ullom’s death to honor him for

his career and to recognize new CEOS in the Southeast region for their service and leadership. Straight had this to say about Waite before he presented her with the award: “This year’s recipient is a visionary with a strong business acumen that has, in a short time, shown impressive results, including a 50 percent increase in total revenue. Since joining the organization as CEO in February 2022, this executive has been a significant contributor to the club’s success by championing growth, leading to an unbelievable 300 percent increase in average daily attendance. She has also focused on actualizing the strategic plan to ensure the continued sustainability

of the organization in the future. With a passionate focus on teens, she oversaw the

completion and opening of a new building in 2023 and in 2024 will open a new, standalone teen center and an additional new unit [in Highlands]. This will be the first time in the organization’s history that they will have more than one unit. Serving as a mentor and coach to club staff, she has shown an ability to build morale and capacity across all levels of the club and, as a result, not only are more youth being served, but their club experience has been greatly enhanced.” Waite said she could not express how moved she was to have been honored with the award. BGCA has five regions, she said, with the Southeast region being the largest. “It means a lot for me, it’s been a real honor to serve the youth of our community since I’ve been in this position and it just means a lot to be recognized by the organization as a whole,” Waite said. “BGCA has over 5,000 clubs supporting over 4 million youth, so to be recognized by such a fantastic and large organization was extremely special.” She added being recognized is a testament to what the Cashiers community, the organization’s board, and the club’s volunteers have been able to accomplish since

she became CEO nearly two years ago. The BGCP opened its new headquarters

on Frank Allen Road last year and recently broke ground on its new teen center, which is expected to be finished on the headquarters campus in the next 12 to 18 months. “This is a really generous community, and I’m just proud to be part of the organization and part of the community,” Waite said.



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