About this episode

Educational leaders should not ONLY listen to and learn from educators. Districts and schools may be complicated places, but there are also other organizations that are committed to serving our youth that do incredible work. Case in point . . . this week Jeff talks with Jim Clark, the CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. They serve 5,100 centers/locations impacting 4.6 million students! Yeah, you read that right. A massive undertaking and leadership responsibility. You can’t listen to this and NOT learn something about strategy, navigating the complexity of the current times, and servant leadership.

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As leader of the nation’s largest facility-based youth development organization, Jim Clark directs a 116-year-old network of 4,900 Boys & Girls Clubs that serve 4.6 million young people annually in all 50 states, territories and on U.S. military installations worldwide.

Since joining BGCA in 2012, Mr. Clark has spearheaded a major restructuring of the organization and introduced an exciting new strategy to allow more youth to achieve positive outcomes in three priority areas: Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles. To support Boys & Girls Clubs in fostering these vital outcomes, Mr. Clark emphasizes the importance of building organizational capacity, improving program quality and consistency, expanding the Boys & Girls Club national network and positioning BGCA as the nation’s leading advocate for youth. Under Mr. Clark’s leadership, BGCA originated a national youth outcomes study that supports continuous quality improvement and demonstrates the impact of the Club experience in the areas of education, leadership and health outcomes, as documented in the organization’s annual National Youth Outcomes Report. BGCA continues to introduce programming that supports the three outcome areas, including STEM initiatives to address learning loss, workforce readiness and trauma informed practices.

Mr. Clark began his career at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 1979, where he served senior leadership roles in distribution, marketing and customer service operations and advanced to Senior Vice President. In 2004, he departed the media company after 24 years to become President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, which he’d served as a board member. Mr. Clark served as a director of Boxlight Corporation (2019/2020) and currently serves as a director of First Advantage Corporation and SHRM.

Mr. Clark holds a Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He and his wife, Samantha, live in Atlanta with their two sons.

About Jeff Rose, Vice President of Leadership Development at Cognia
Forward-thinking executive leader with over 20 years of education experience (3X Superintendent, Curriculum Director, Principal, & Classroom Teacher), primed to support leaders in their pursuit of solving the most complicated educational problems of practice.