Dr. Jack Weller, Board President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland County, received the 2017 Board Member of the Year Award at the North Carolina Area Council Leadership Conference held in Raleigh on September 28-20. This annual award recognizes a board member for long and significant contribution to the Boys & Girls Club Movement and North Carolina youth.
Weller, a member of the Board since 1994, has served as Board president since 2002. Over the past three years, Weller has been instrumental in promoting the Club's goal to Serve More Kids Every Day.
In 2015, he and Josh Propst, Club Executive Director, worked to obtain a renovation grant from the Lowes Education Foundation that resulted in a $60,000 renovation of the main Club on West Sumter Street. Weller worked with several organizations to obtain volunteers to work on the project so that most of the funds spent were for materials and not for labor. The renovated Club is now serving kindergarten to sixth-grade students from five schools with an average daily attendance of 80 children a day.
In 2016, the Club was approached by Nelsa Feaster, Graham Elementary School principal, to offer an after-school and summer camp programs for their students who were starting a year-round school program. Working with Gardner-Webb University, the Club could open a second location to serve kindergarten to fourth-grade students at Graham. In 2017 the Graham Extension is serving on average 40 students a day.
As part of a long-range plan, developed in 2010, Weller co-chaired a capital campaign to raise almost $500,000 to renovate the former Shelby Middle School gymnasium and create the Mable Hamrick Whisnant Teen Center. The lead gift of $240,000 was from the estate of Mable Hamrick Whisnant who was a longtime supporter of the Club. Working with the Cleveland County School Board, the Club signed a long-term agreement for the use of the facility as a Teen Center with a computer lab, classroom, game room and air-conditioned gymnasium. The Teen Center is serving on average 40 students from middle to high school ages a day at the Teen Center.
In August 2017, Weller received his Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership from Gardner-Webb University. His consultancy project over the nine semesters had been re-shaping the Board of Directors of the Club into four functioning committees with a strategic plan and vision of serving more kids every day.
Dr. Weller is married and has an adult daughter. His wife, Barb has been a supporter of his efforts, and Katie has helped him understand how to relate to millennials.
The North Carolina Area Council consists of the leadership from the 37 Boys & Girls Club organizations that operate 125 club unit locations across the state.