BARTOW BIO — Gordon Gilley mentors thousands at Boys & Girls Clubs since 1990
by Marie Nesmith
Sep 11, 2011 | 2050 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A former member of the James T. Anderson Club in Marietta, Gordon Gilley knows firsthand the impact the Boys & Girls Clubs has on a community's youth. Hired in 1990, the Cartersville resident decided to serve as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County's first director to "be part of a process/team that would bring quality-daily youth development services to Bartow County's children and their families."

As its chief professional officer, Gilley has guided the organization's growth and programming for more than two decades.

Opened in May 1990 at the Goodyear Clubhouse in the Atco community, the local offering became the first chartered club in the nation to reach out to boys and girls with the name of its organization. The temporary location drew 110 children in its first week and 400 by the end of the year, compared to its current total membership of about 800.

Today, the organization features two locations -- 642 Henderson Drive in Cartersville and 127 King St. in Adairsville -- and serves more than 400 children a day with its summer program. During the school year and the summer, the units offer youth ages 6 to 18 supplemental education and activities like arts and crafts, basketball and board games. Ninety-two percent of the nonprofit's members graduate from high school, with more than 25 percent finishing post-high-school instruction, such as college or trade schools.

Name: Gordon Gilley

Occupation: Chief Professional Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County

City of residence: Cartersville

Family: Married to former Mary Watkins, Clinical Oncology Research Manager for NGOC Inc.; two daughters: Kaylyn and Ashley.

Education: Graduated from Mercer University with a degree in Human Services Administration.

Age: 52

How does the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County benefit area children?

A: Over 250 young people attend one of our two units here in Bartow County every day. Thousands of young people have benefited from a comprehensive youth development strategy implemented by a caring staff and volunteers. Collaborative partners/supporters also assist the organization in producing contributing citizens with a moral compass.

What are your future goals for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County? Where would you like to see the organization in five, 10 years?

A: To continue to provide quality, much needed services to our community's deserving youth. Also, to provide services in south Bartow and to construct a permanent facility in Adairsville.

What do you enjoy most about this line of work?

A: Working with the fantastic board of directors and staff we've assembled. They work tirelessly to ensure that our members become successful, happy, contributing citizens.

What is your greatest professional or personal achievement?

A: Professional: Lifelong Boys & Girls Clubs professional; Personal: husband and father

How would you describe yourself in three words?

A: Honest, loyal, inquisitive.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

A: I serve as a national/regional consultant for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

A: To always "Take the High Road."

What is your favorite Bartow County restaurant/meal?

A: Anything Mary prepares. She's a world-class chef in addition to her professional and personal responsibilities.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

A: Travel, travel, travel.

Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow County?

A: Home.