The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast is pleased to announce their new President and CEO, Ms. Nita Smith. “The Board is quite pleased Ms. Smith will be our next President/CEO, building upon this great legacy and leading our Club forward” says Simon Dawkins, Board Chairman of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast.

Smith brings a wealth of experience to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast as a 23 year veteran of the Boys & Girls Clubs movement. Smith began working at the Boys & Girls Clubs in 1983 as a program director in King County, Washington. Smith has previously served as the Executive Director in Seattle, Washington; Morehead City, North Carolina; Santa Maria, California; and Carlsbad, New Mexico.

During her career, Smith has held many positions, including program director, operations director and chief professional officer. As Executive Director of Wallington Boys & Girls Club, Smith completed a major capital campaign to move the club to a new location, as well as garnered interest and support from alumni and community leaders.

Smith replaces Carl Lavender as President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast after Lavender retired in January 2011 after 10 years of service as the President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast, and 35 years with the Boys & Girls Clubs. During the interim, the position of President and CEO was held by Aaron McGlon.

Smith will be relocating from Washington and will begin her duties on July 25.

About the Boys & Girls Club of the Suncoast:

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America movement came to Pinellas County in November 1959 with the founding of the Boys Club of Pinellas Park by Police Chief Maurice L. MacTarsney and Margaret “Peg” Nunn.  The Club began operating in January 1960 in an old frame building leased from the City of Pinellas Park with its 1st executive director, James S Hart Jr.  The Boys Clubs of Pinellas, Inc. was chartered in August 1967 when its second club opened at the Northside location in St. Petersburg.  In May 1970, at the urging of both the United Way and the Boys Clubs of America, the Boys Clubs of Pinellas County, Inc. was organized.  In 1991, the Boys Clubs of Pinellas County opened its programs to all youth, forming Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast (BGCS), as we know it today, now with eleven locations.  BGCS under the leadership of Carl R. Lavender, Jr. has the goal “to influence the behavior and the attitudes of each individual boy and girl in a wholesome manner.”  The sole purpose of BGCS is to provide children, youth, their families and the community opportunities for safe, structured, well supervised after school and summer youth programs, with an emphasis on leadership, education and self sufficiency.  The organization has proven its commitment to service for children and community members with innovative and progressive programming and opportunities.  Supporters of Boys & Girls Clubs include government politicians, law enforcement agency representatives, financial institutions, and education boards, among other concerned citizens.  To find out more or to help, visit