As the Boys & Girls Clubs in our area continue to grow, the governing boards of four of the local organizations have agreed to merge to form Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio.
The new partnership combines the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, Erie County, Lorain County, and the Western Reserve (Akron). Although the clubs will maintain separate organizational identities, collectively they will serve 8,500 kids with a total budget of $11 million dollars.
“This merger gives us the opportunity to serve more kids and develop deeper programming,” interim president and CEO Ron Soeder said in a release. “All four of the merging Club are financially strong and well-run, and combining our forces will enable us to scale our best practices, streamline operations and be more cost-efficient – all to serve and support more kids.“
Soeder, who has headed Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland for the last 13 years, will serve as interim president and CEO of the merged organization while the search for a permanent leader takes place.
The merger, one of the largest for the Boys & Girls Clubs in the nation, does not mean layoffs are pending. Soeder says there are no plans for any cutbacks and the merger may, in fact, help fill existing vacancies. The four merging Clubs together have 334 employees, 87 of whom are full-time workers.
Boys & Girls Clubs provide safe, fun places for kids ages 6-18 to go after school. The Clubs focus on academic achievement, healthy lifestyles and character development. The Clubs’ youth development professionals provide programming that includes arts, athletics and homework help.