When Curt McReynolds interviewed in 2008 for the top position at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township, he had a gut feeling he could lead the program to success.
With a background in college athletics, he knew he wouldn't have as much experience as some of the other applicants. But having been a Boys and Girls Club member growing up, McReynolds wanted to give back, and he told the search panel they would never find a candidate who would outwork him.
Nine years later, board President Mark Krueger says McReynolds has lived up to that promise, and he's leaving the organization better and stronger than every before.
"It was not only a great fit, but it was just meant to be. It was one of those perfect chance opportunities," McReynolds said. "They took a chance on me, and the rest is history."
McReynolds is stepping down as president and CEO of the Dundee Township club to become chief operating officer at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, one of the largest clubs in the country. His last day is May 19.
During the past nine years, McReynolds has led the Dundee Township club through exponential growth, Krueger said. The organization, which now serves more than 1,500 students, has doubled its number of sites, quadrupled its operating budget and grown its board to 30 members.
McReynolds said his biggest challenge during the past several years was navigating that growth appropriately.
"He's really transformed the organization," Krueger said. "I think one of the biggest things that he's done is he's really increased the footprint. And he's been able to do what he's done without a lot of direction. It's been purely on his own initiative."
Amalia Woolf, vice president of program services, has worked alongside McReynolds since he was hired. Despite his busy schedule, McReynolds made it a point to get to know everyone involved with the organization -- the staff, board members, donors, students and their guardians -- and treated them like family, Woolf said.
"The rapport he's built with the community and the respect he's had has been amazing," she said. "People can sense his genuine passion for what the organization does. He's definitely left a great stamp here, and we're going to miss him so much."
A search committee, made up of members of the board's executive committee, is seeking applicants to replace McReynolds, Woolf said. Applications will be accepted through mid-May, when candidates will be called in for interviews, she said.
Though excited for the new opportunity in Arizona, McReynolds said the move was not an easy decision, largely because of the relationships he's formed and the opportunities he's been given at the Dundee Township club.
"This truly is a special place," he said. "It's been an incredible ride."