As CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Newark, Inc., (BGCN), Ameer Washington will celebrate 33 years of engagement in the Boys & Girls Club Movement this September. His ability to steer the organization to unprecedented success in less than two years comes from his hands-on approach to leadership. Ameer empowers his directors to manage their departments as business owners while working collectively toward common goals. Each member of his entire staff has unfettered access to him through an open-door policy and weekly sessions where they can voice their concerns called “Tea with Wash.” This approach has allowed him and his team to identify challenges and opportunities and respond to them quickly.
Most essential to his success is his experience as a Club Member, front-line staff member, site director, and development professional. Ameer is also a native of Newark. This allows him to tap into a network of residents, stakeholders, and professionals who have known him for decades. His deep roots within the community and organization give him a perspective that is very difficult to replicate.
Ameer is bold, confident, and passionate. He desires to change how people think about nonprofit organizations fundamentally. He’s committed to the idea that his organization is not a charity but a business with a charitable purpose for the benefit of the youth and families BGCN serves. He emphasizes that the tax-exempt status of the organization exhibits that its purpose is not to generate profits. Yet, he reminds his team daily that it will take a considerable investment of time, dollars, and talent from staff, partners, and other community stakeholders to overcome the challenges facing their constituents.
Most of all, Ameer is humble, transparent, desirous of feedback, and enjoys a challenge. He constantly strives to push the boundaries of what’s possible for Newark and its youth. Boys & Girls Club of Newark has a long history in Newark. He wants his legacy as the CEO to be defined by how many young people’s lives are made better by the impact of BGCN.