The Boys & Girls Club of Danville has a new executive director.
Lifelong Danville resident Rob Gifford has been hired and will start in the position on Dec. 10. Gifford replaces seven-year director Rickey Williams Jr.
Chris Robinson, president of the club’s board of directors, said Williams will train and work with Gifford through the end of the year.
“We’re excited. We’re so relieved to have this decision made, and are confident in who we chose,” Robinson said.
The board had 25 applicants for the position and interviewed four people.
“His energy was great. He was excited about the position. He had done a lot of research,” Robinson said, adding that Gifford had talked to Williams before he applied and also talked to officials with the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club of Champaign.
Robinson said Gifford is excited for the opportunity to work with the youth and he has good ideas for the club.
“You could really tell his heart was in it,” Robinson said.
Robinson said a going-away party for Williams and a welcoming party for Gifford will be set soon.
Gifford, 47, graduated from Schlarman High School in 1983 and attended Danville Area Community College and Illinois State University. Most recently he worked for Greenwood Inc./Trigard Bronze. He was part of the business development and sales team.
Gifford said he’d been looking “for something to have a career on.”
“I want to make a real difference,” Gifford said.
He said he felt like he was doing that in his last position, but with the club, “it’s a great opportunity to work with the youth of our community.”
Gifford said he looks forward to helping the community grow and get better.
Gifford’s wife is Karla and they have two children, Ryan, 26, and Reagan, 13. Gifford also has coached a lot in several sports.
He loves living in Danville.
“It’s such a great community. The people here in Danville are great,” Gifford said.
He adds that Williams has done a great job at the club. Gifford looks forward to moving the club further forward.
The Danville club serves about 150 children daily. It has had a little more than 200 members and a waiting list of more than 100. Its annual budget has been a little more than $500,000.