South San Francisco, CA March 26, 2021 by Aubrey Merriman, CEO Boys & Girls Club of Northern San Mateo County
Dear Esteemed Friends, Colleagues, Partners, and Collaborators,
This is by far the most difficult letter I have written to Everything South City as CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County. Boys & Girls Clubs has helped shape who I am today and will continue to shape who I will be. I fell in love with Boys & Girls from the first moment we met over three decades ago. I am extremely fortunate to be able to call myself a Club kid and former Youth of the Year. You can take the kid out of the Club, but you will never take the Club out of the kid. I am a product of the Boys & Girls Clubs.
I have loved my time at Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County, but it is time for me to embrace a new challenge, and for the Club to hire a CEO with new ideas, a fresh perspective and a different reservoir of energy. I am proud of all that the Club has accomplished over the past 5 years. It has helped reaffirm how important the Club is to our community, especially during this time of incredible challenge, created and exacerbated by this pandemic.
I am pleased to share that David Hartman will be stepping in as Interim CEO. David is a seasoned leader in the social sector, skilled in management and consulting. He has effectively developed and revitalized organizations by strengthening systems and structure, evaluating and improving program outcomes, engaging boards and coaching staff, employing and modeling best practices of relationship management. David is trained in interim executive management, focused on leadership protocols and instrumental tools for providing strategic transitional leadership. David was also the Interim CEO when I took the helm 5 years ago – so we are actually welcoming David back to the Club!
While the work was rewarding and provided many memorable experiences and unique opportunities, it is the people I worked with, you among them, and the people that inspired that work, that I will miss most. I am immensely proud of what WE have collectively achieved over the last 5 years for our local students, families and communities. I will always look back with affection, satisfaction and pride at our many collective accomplishments, building on the work of those before me. All of you—my Club extended family—have held a special place in my heart since the day I joined this organization 5 years ago. You have helped make this organization the pillar it is today. You have taught me so much through your ingenuity, commitment to excellence, and passion for serving our communities. Some of you I know personally and others I have respected from afar.
Leadership matters – it matters even more today, because the need for effective, inspiring, and authentic leadership has never been greater. We need leaders who set high expectations for themselves – not just in terms of vision and competence, but in how they express gratitude and exemplify civility. We need leaders who uphold their enterprise’s core values in every facet of their lives. And we need leaders who understand how their words and actions influence not just the culture inside our enterprises, but the public’s broader trust in the sectors that we represent.
Every day, Mr. Rolando Madrid and the staff team at Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County take on some of the most pressing challenges for some of the hardest to reach children/families. What they achieve in the classroom, at the clubhouses, on the playgrounds, and in the virtual realm is truly extraordinary. They work tireless each day to advance the mission and vision of Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County. It is my sincere privilege to lead them. I am deeply thankful for all they do – and what it means to the world.
Whenever I’m asked by students about business and leadership, and what’s it’s like to be the boss… I like to remind them that they are actually the boss and I really work for them. I also tell them and others early in their careers that they need to find, first and foremost, a place to work that “ignites their passion. They need to understand how their work and their chosen profession provides value, changes lives, and builds a better world. And, I tell them – they need to love what they do and the people they work with. Thank you for making this possible for me. What started as some obscure city somehow connected to Sign Hill, has become what feels like an extended family that has left an indelible mark on my soul.
Serving as the CEO has been the honor of a lifetime. Now it’s on to the next adventure—for us all. Thank you for making the last 5 years special beyond words. I am humbled by your partnership, collaboration, and support over the years — in service to students, families and community. The sands in the hour glass of Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County will continue to move. In the grand scheme of things, I am happy to have been a grain of sand. It was a privilege, pleasure, and an honor.
Looking to the future, I have no doubt that Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County’s best days are still to come. The Board of Directors and staff are doubling down their commitment to advancing the mission of the organization in bigger and better ways. The mission and values of the Club have and will always be bigger than any one individual. I am humbled to have helped write a chapter in the amazing book of Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County. There are so many more new and exciting chapters yet to be written!
With heartfelt gratitude and respect,
Aubrey Merriman, CEO
Boys & Girls Club of Northern San Mateo County