Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County Hires Former Corporate Executive, Craig McElfresh, as CEO

Submitted by Washington Business Bank

After a nationwide search for a Chief Executive Officer, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County is proud to announce the hiring of Craig McElfresh as their new CEO.

Boys and Girls Club Craig M Close High Res
Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County announces the hiring of Craig McElfresh as their new CEO

The 8- member board and community leader search committee conducted an extensive, nationwide search with the help of a professional search firm. “We are extremely grateful for the committee’s dedication and expertise to select Craig as our new CEO from a field of very competitive candidates”, says Search Committee Chair, Christie Agtarap.

“We wanted to leverage our growth and impact, to serve more kids and recognized that we needed a transformational leader to take the organization to another performance level and we found that leader in Craig,” says Sam Bovard, Board Chair.

McElfresh cultivated his drive for excellence in organizational leadership and management during his 36 years at The Boeing Company.  There he held various technical and senior management roles in process engineering, product development, project management, quality assurance, business operations, program management, and technology planning for commercial, space, and defense sectors. He led regional, national, and international teams and projects, including support for the advanced technology 787 commercial airplane.

In 2015, McElfresh joined the non-profit, Pioneer Human Services, a company focused on treatment, employment, and housing for youth and adults with criminal histories or justice involved. There he held increasing roles of executive level responsibility.

His passion and leadership in youth development in his community is evident in the leadership and volunteer roles he has assumed during his career.  He has coached youth of all ages, boys and girls, in baseball and basketball. He originated a 501c3 community-centered baseball program for youth, and co-developed a community-centered youth basketball program. He was on the Auburn Youth Career Advisory Council, the Auburn YMCA Board of Managers, and mentored youth in a leadership program supporting the regional youth career fair.

Craig earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Project Management emphasis, a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University, and holds an active Certification in Project Management from Project Management Institute.

Craig is excited about his new role in a vibrant community saying, “Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County are located in towns and cities, in the heartbeat of the community, where precious kids are supported and served by compassionate adults who commit their resources to provide quality facilities and life-enriching programs. This is an exciting, pinnacle opportunity for me to work with diverse people and organizations, build upon the club-level success of the past 17 years, and grow our ability to positively impact the lives of more kids. Converging almost 40 years of career and professional experience with parallel community service for kids is a dream come true. My wife and I are absolutely thrilled to live in this community and join this amazing organization!”

Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County’s mission is to inspire and enable youth to realize their greatness.  They provide safe places to learn and grow; ongoing relationships with caring adult professionals; life enhancing programs; character development experiences; hope and opportunity.  The Clubs promote academic success, good character & citizenship, and healthy lifestyles so they are better prepared to graduate from high school and thrive as adults.  Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County has grown to five Clubs in Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey, Tenino and Rochester in 17 years serving on average 700 youth per day and over 3,000 youth annually.

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