Valdosta Daily Times

May 23, 2013

New era at the Boys and Girls Club

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Next week on June 1, it will be the official end of an era at the Boys and Girls Club of Valdosta when Robert Soper hands over responsibility for the organization to the new Chief Professional Officer Jim Wink.

Soper will continue in a consulting role with the local and national organization, at least through the end of the year. His retirement after 36 years of service is an amazing accomplishment in a world where people change jobs often, and the legacy he leaves behind is a testament to his leadership over the years. Under Soper, the Boys and Girls Club has seen many changes, and has progressed over the years from a more athletic focus to one now dominated by academics. With every single  senior attending the club graduating this year, on time, with a plan for the future in place, the hard work of Soper, staff and volunteers is producing results for our area youth.

Supervising the construction of several new units, expanding services to thousands of children annually, and working daily to ensure that each child in their care is fed, tutored, mentored, and cared for is a huge task but one that has its own rewards.

Soper will be missed not only by the organization but by the community as a whole, but when one door closes, another opens, and for Jim Wink, he has the opportunity to usher in a new era at the club, ensuring that it remains a successful and viable part of the community for decades to come.