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Presidents Update
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Presidents Update

Mary Ann Mahon Huels

September 24, 2017

Dear Fellow Colleagues:

With leadership comes responsibility. Responsibility to lead, no matter how large or small the Organization, requires many institutional and instinctive attributes: the ability to create a vision and goals, the ability to lead change rather than maintain the status quo, the ability to promote uniqueness rather than just duplicating the efforts of others, the ability to take risks while controlling risks at the same time, the ability and vision to think through and to implement long and short term initiatives, the ability to professionally grow oneself and those around you while relying on existing and proven skill sets to function effectively, the ability to build relationships, the ability to provide mentorship and finally the ability to build a solid operating Team. As I look back over my term in Office I am so appreciative to all of you who have contributed in so many ways toward the success of our many Initiatives. Remember successful Leadership is plural and not singular so your involvement is critical in achieving our many goals. 

Leading by example, just look at some of the programs and alliances that we have enhanced and established that we are very proud of:

Over the past two years we have seen our Membership grow at an all-time rate. By the end of this year we will have achieved a growth rate nearing 50%, and I am proud to attribute this growth to the commitment of both our Board and the numerous Boys & Girls Club Professionals across the country including several related affinity groups.

In early 2016 our Board engaged in a Strategic Planning Session and, as a result, we improved our efficiency by turning up the volume in sharing the success of The Professional Association with the Movement.

We have been able to increase our visibility in the Boys & Girls Club movement due to the outstanding recognition of our professionals and the development opportunities created by them; which resulted in over 100 scholarships being awarded to Boys & Girls Club Professionals. In summary we are very proud of the fact that we represent the voice of our Professionals.

As with every organization or with life in general, we go through a series of reality checks. In this regard, I wrote to you earlier this year on a problem which threatened to challenge our Great Futures 2025 plan. Within this narrative I implicitly stated that the “truth prevails as so too will we … if we keep our efforts focused on what is in the best interests of the Movement, and not any one of its supporters or dissenters”. And this is my closing message: we need to focus on the Children and how we can best make their lives better. We need to focus on benefiting from one another's skill sets and developing future Board Members who will in turn help expand our Organization into the future.

My hope, in turning over the gavel, is that you and future generations will continue to lead with the Children as our primary focus and the ongoing strength of our Organization as the guiding light. And to the Board of the future I say, as you continue your  journey,  always remember where you came from and where you have been; as you transition into leading TPA into the future never lose sight of understanding why you are here, and what you have to offer. TPA is the all-inclusive, collective voice of BGC professionals, and you are the ambassadors of its mission and the foot soldiers to ensuring great futures for millions of children throughout our nation.

Thank you all for this inspiring opportunity to serve my fellow Professionals along with the Children. It definitely represents a highlight in my Professional life, and I look forward to continuing my efforts and interaction with all of you for many years to come.   Thank you Misti Potter for your guidance and wisdom, as the TPA Immediate Past President, and best of luck to Steve Wurm, the TPA In-coming President, as he continues this journey.  It’s been a great ride. 


 February 20, 2017                                                                  

I grew up, like many of you, intrigued by the news of the world, either by radio, newspaper, magazines or by television. We may not have heard the news as it was exactly unfolding but we never had a doubt that what we heard was accurate and fully vetted, with far less sophisticated tools than we have now. And unfortunately, when something bad happened, either close to our immediate Family or in our neighborhood, only then did the impact of the news really hit us with a better understanding of how life can change in an instant.


By all apparent circumstances we have moved into an age of no vetting, Blogs, Twitter and all of the tools that people use to prove their point, no matter how far from the truth their facts are. We hear the terms Fake News, Alternative Facts, Dishonest Media, Real Americans, Lies, and Leaks, all of which mean the opposite now of what we grew up understanding them to mean. And saddest of all, with everyone's ability to take to the airwaves, anyone can engage in a campaign to destroy someone or something with just the stroke of a pen.


Over the past several weeks, as President of your Professional Association, I am saddened, and quite frankly frustrated, by the anonymous communications being circulated across our Movement. As you know these communications are both inaccurate and counterproductive to our mission. I know that Jim Clark and the BGCA staff have consistently asked for feedback and input on these matters. But we need to be very careful in responding so as not to add any credibility to their claims. And in this regard I am honored to have served on the Great Futures 2025 Planning Commission with four of our TPA Board Members. By example over the past two years we have spent hundreds of hours working together with the National Area Council Committee and the President's Advisory Council to establish a strategic and definitive direction for the Boys and Girls Club Movement through 2025 and beyond. All of these efforts, along with others, have resulted in a plan that will have a significant positive impact on our youth all across America.

As all of you know TPA supports the priorities and strategic direction of Great Futures 2025, centered on a mission to provide realistic and attainable Futures for our youth by focusing on creating quality experiences and stronger communities for all of our Families. In this regard to allow a small group of dissenters to dismantle the honest efforts that we have worked hard to attain is just not in the cards. They need to move on and away from our cause and we can help them do so by not giving them any credibility in responding to their concerns. Truth prevails and so too will it with this situation as well if we keep our efforts focused on what is in the best interests of the Movement and not any one of its supporters or dissenters.

Great Futures takes Great People to make it happen and, in this regard, our collective efforts are all that matters. Thank you for helping me to help you and the Children to succeed with our mission.


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