Lake County Boys & Girls Clubs locations will again have their own directors
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent July 31, 2012 12:40PM
Updated: July 31, 2012 7:08PM
Each of the six Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana again will have its own director.
Lincoln Ellis, the club’s executive director, said Monday a March reorganization that put two clubs each under one leader will be reversed effective Wednesday.
“Basically we are putting club directors back into all of our clubs,” Ellis said.
The move comes after the restructuring that created shared leadership at the clubs. The shift earlier in the year was an effort to improve efficiency and cost effectiveness for the organization, Ellis said.
Lake Station director Donna Gonzalez took over the helm at Cedar Lake, while Kristina Balog, Cedar Lake’s director, was brought to the corporate office to oversee all clubs’ art programs and character development. Predraj Jones, Hammond’s director, was also assigned as director of the Merrillville club and Rose Joiner was director at both East Chicago and Gary.
After looking at how the reorganization worked, Ellis said officials decided they wanted to put some of the organization’s strongest individuals who know club services and programs into the clubs.
“It was a challenge with individuals trying to oversee both clubs,” Ellis said.
One critical issue was the time spent travelling between the clubs, especially in the case of Lake Station and Cedar Lake.
Balog will again be the director in Cedar Lake and Gonzalez will remain director at Lake Station. Joiner will continue at Gary, while Will Winfrey, the organization’s director for program services, will take over in East Chicago. Jones will continue as the Hammond director and a determination on the Merrillville club director has not been finalized.
Ellis said the restructuring will not involve hiring any new employees. Winfrey’s and Balog’s corporate office positions will remain unfilled at this time.
“There are no plans to close any of our clubs. If anything, we are looking at how we can strengthen our clubs,” Ellis said.
Diane Jostes, a member of the board of managers for the Cedar Lake club, said the switch back to a director for each club is a positive move for the organization.
“I’m very happy. This is probably the way it should be,” Jostes said.
Jostes said club directors play an important role at each location and service as a positive role model for the children who take advantage of the many programs offered. She said the board of managers did question the shared leadership role when it took place and how it would be implemented. She said she is pleased club leadership recognized the need for individual club directors and decided to readdress the move.
“It’s just a stability issue … I think this is a positive thing,” Jostes said.