Employer: The Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley. Graduate Class of LB- 2004. I am the current CEO of the Boys & Girls Club. We have 23 locations in Burbank and the Greater East Valley and serve over 3000 youth a year. Our Class project was a park beautification project at Mountain View Park and we renovated their small recreation center there. This was 17 years ago so I can’t remember exactly what I did but I do remember being covered in paint when I got home : )
1. What has been your career path since completing LB? Special or noteworthy accomplishments? When I began LB, I was a new to my Executive Director position and it was important for me to get more involved with the community and to learn how the city operates and to meet other community members. For me, LB was a life changing experience because I made friends and work contacts that I am still close to till this day and I also learned the complexities of our local government and how to better navigate the system for the benefit of our organization. I also learned about the importance of giving back and volunteering and shortly after I graduated from LB, I joined the Burbank Community Police Academy and eventually joined the LBAA and LB boards and I had only wonderful experiences during my time with LB.
2. How has LB helped in other areas of your life? I have a much better understanding of local government and local politics and through this program I was able to learn a lot about myself as a young leader. Many of the leadership practices I learned in LB are still helpful to me today. I will never forget that damn SIMSOC experience and running out of money and doing crosswords to make money… what fun that was and I also enjoyed coming back as a board member to help with this process. The best part for me were the connections I made. I am a huge advocate of this program and have put 10 of our employees through this program since I graduated.
3. Was there anything you picked up in LB that might have helped you in dealing with the pandemic? Yes, partnering. I learned through LB that no one entity can do it alone. The city and school district need the non-profits and the non-profits need the city and school districts support. These relationships are critical and when they are strong we can accomplish so much as evidenced by our relationship with both. We have kept the club open for 11 hours a day since last March and we could not have done this without the support of the community. We are a team.
4. What are your hopes for future classes of LB and how they may continue to impact the community? I sure hope they keep the program going and get back to being in person as soon as it is possible as it is a very important experience and I think leaders in our community can benefit from it so much, in fact I just recommended it to a new nonprofit leader yesterday!