PARKERSBURG - Mike Flanagan, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg, will be retiring in July from the position he has held for 18 years.
Flanagan announced Tuesday he will be retiring July 29, but will remain active in a support role with the club he has been a part of for much of his life.
Immediately after graduating from high school, Flanagan said, he was among the first staff members hired by what was then the Boys Club of Parkersburg in 1964. He also served as program director and assistant executive director until 1972 when he left for other employment.
Flanagan came back to the club in 1994 as executive director and has served in that capacity for 18 years. He believes one of his biggest accomplishments during that period was bringing about the opening of the club to girls with the change to the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg in November 1997.
"It's been one of the greatest things we've done," Flanagan said.
He was also proud of being able to restore the club's swimming pool, which at one point was in danger of permanent closure. That effort was made possible by the help of the Henry Logan Children's Home program.
About Mike Flanagan
After 18 years as executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg, Mike Flanagan has announced his retirement.
Flanagan will retire July 29 as executive director, a position he took over in 1994.
Flanagan also worked for the then-Boys Club of Parkersburg from 1964-1972.
The Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg is open to boys and girls from ages 7 to 18, offering a variety of programs and activities for boys and girls to get involved in and learn from.
Flanagan praised the work of the club's board of directors over the years and said he will continue to provide any support he can.
"The club has appreciated his service and he has done so much work on its behalf," said board president Mark Gaston.
"It's been a privilege to serve with him," Gaston said of Flanagan's time with the club.
Gaston and Flanagan confirmed that current assistant director Ben Shuman will take over Flanagan's position as executive director upon his retirement.
"I have mixed emotions; it's been a great ride," Flanagan said of his years with the club.
He said he will be 66 years old in July and wants to take some time for himself while giving someone the chance to bring in new ideas and energy to the job.
"It's been a wonderful community to work in and a wonderful community to live in," Flanagan said of Parkersburg.
Last October, Flanagan was named the 2011 Executive of the Year by the Midwest Regional The Professional Association of the Boys and Girls Club of America. It was the first time the local club's board of directors applied for the award on behalf of Flanagan.
About 1,650 children use the services of the club on Mary Street.
There are 572 clubs with more than 760,000 youth members in the Midwest Regional, which encompasses 13 states from North Dakota to West Virginia, of the organization.
Since he was named the 2011 Executive of the Year for the region, Flanagan's name will be submitted for the national title, which will be announced during the annual conference in Orlando in May.