Column: Metro Atlanta Boys & Girls formally names Missy Dugan as CEO

By Maria Saporta
Friday, July 1, 2011

The board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta has named Missy Dugan its president and CEO after she had served as the interim head of the organization since January.

“After having worked with Missy over the last six months and observed her in the role, she has demonstrated continued strong leadership, management skills and passion to serve the children in our community who need it the most,” said Brent Wilson, the organization’s board chair who is a partner with law firm Elarbee, Thompson, Sapp & Wilson LLP. “It made the decision very easy for us.”

Before serving as the interim CEO, Dugan had been the chief operating officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, serving with then-president William Lampley. So when Lampley left after two years, the board turned to Dugan.

“Everything just seemed to come together,” Dugan said. “I had always thought my natural progression would be to be a CEO of a Boys & Girls Clubs organization. It’s not a job. It’s my passion.”

Dugan has been with the Boys & Girls “movement” for more than 12 years, mostly in other cities. But as an Atlanta native, she welcomed the opportunity to return to her hometown. In 2007, she became vice president of marketing and development for the Atlanta organization before becoming COO.

“The board recognized that she was the right person for the right time,” Wilson said, adding that her entire career had been leading to this point. “This has been a lifelong quest of hers.”

Dugan has been working with the board on a 2020 strategic planning process for the organization, which has three priorities: academic success, healthy lifestyles, and character and leadership development.

Also, the organization has been selected to manage one of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s Centers of Hope — the Thomasville center — in the fall.

That means the metro Atlanta organization will have a total of 27 clubs serving an average of 17,000 children between the ages of 6 and 18 every year.

“We feel we are the strongest youth development organization in Atlanta serves the children who need us,” said Dugan, who said she is open to partnerships and collaborations with other like-minded organizations in the region.

By the way, she’s the first woman to head the Atlanta nonprofit. Atlanta also is home to the national organization — the Boys & Girls Clubs of America — which also is undergoing a leadership change. Roxanne Spillett will retire at the end of the year, and her successor will be Jim Clark, who has been head of the Greater Milwaukee organization.

By the way, the chair-elect of the organization is Bill Rogers, the recently named CEO of SunTrust Banks Inc.

Ramsey to chair United Way

Speaking of changes in leadership, the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta will welcome a new board chair in July, Craig Ramsey, managing director for Accenture Ltd.’s Atlanta metro location. He is succeeding Larry Keys, a worldwide partner for the Mercer human resources firm.

At United Way’s stakeholders meeting on June 28, Keys had an opportunity to reflect on the changes the organization has undertaken under his leadership.

The big change will take place in mid-July, when metro Atlanta’s nonprofits will find out how much they will be receiving in United Way dollars under the new strategic plan. Now agencies are having to make a case as to why they should receive United Way funding based on their ability to help impact the six community initiatives.

“We need to do something different. We need to combine government resources, faith-based resources, nonprofit resources,” said Keys, explaining that donors are wanting to see measurable results for their dollars. “They’ve demanded us to change. And we have changed our funding to support the organizations that are showing the way.”

Atlanta United Way President Milton Little thanked the stakeholders at the Hyatt Regency luncheon for coalescing around the six community goals.

Those six goals are: babies are born healthy; children enter schools ready to learn and graduate prepared for careers; young people avoid risky behaviors; families are self-sufficient; people have access to primary health care; and homeless people are housed within one year.

“We are one interconnected voice no matter our job title, ZIP code or social status,” Little said. “We are a network of caring individuals, leveraging our similarities, working hard to give children, families and our communities a fighting chance.”

Thrashers’ final gifts

The Atlanta Thrashers Foundation recently gave away $150,000 to 15 local Atlanta charities.

In fact, since 1999, the Atlanta Thrashers Foundation has granted $4 million overall donations to more than 2,000 charities throughout the state, according to Alison Sawyer, a spokeswoman for ownership group Atlanta Spirit LLC.

But given that the hockey team is moving to Winnipeg, the days of the Atlanta Thrashers Foundation contributing to the local community likely are over.

Sawyer said the foundation’s board will be meeting in the near future to discuss dissolving the foundation under the Atlanta Thrashers name. “Any remaining money will be donated to local charities,” she wrote in an email.

The recent grants went to organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children, including a $40,000 grant to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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