HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii's longtime Executive Director David Nakada has decided step down once a new leader has been found.
Nakada has served the organization since 1976 and became executive director in 1979.
"David has an exceptional record in nonprofit service in the islands," said David Hudson, Board of Directors chairman. "His work has touched the lives of many thousands of Hawaii's youths."
Nakada has helped grow the nonprofit from one clubhouse in the McCully area to 9 sites on Oahu and Kauai serving about 4,800 youth members and touching the lives of another 5,000, mostly at-risk young people, each year.
His service has been recognized repeatedly over the past three decades. He received the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs Hooulu Award in 2005 and the Hawaii Community Foundation and Gerbode Foundation Ho'okele Award in 2001.
The David Nakada Scholarship was established in 2009. The scholarship supports graduating young women and men who have struggled to graduate but have expressed a strong desire to continue post high school education at a community college or technical school.
Nakada plans to head a recently established project to assist start up social services ventures dedicated to youth development. This new organization is being founded by former BGCH President Richard Gushman in collaboration with the Hawaii Community Foundation.
Nakada intends stay with the BGCH to assist with the search for a new executive director, and help with the transition.
"David recognized the need for expanding the Club to meet first Oahu and then Kauai needs," said Hudson "He was instrumental in helping the board found the Waianae branch (in 1988) and within a year, that clubhouse had 1,600 members."
Nakada also orchestrated service to Kauai. Immediately after Hurricane Iniki, BGCH took programs to that island, locating on the grounds of Kapaa High School, and then in 1998, opened a branch in Waimea.
Boys & Girls Clubs seek to provide "a safe place for our youth." At BGCH, key programs emphasize character and leadership growth; education, technology and career development; health and life skills; the arts; and sports, fitness and recreation.
Hudson said part of Nakada's legacy is keeping the Club relevant to youngsters for more than three decades. "With the speed of change in technology and lifestyles, that was no easy task."
A search committee to be led by retired Judge Michael A. Town was convened this week. Town is chair-elect for the BGCH Board of Directors.
"Everything BGCH has achieved over these years has been possible because of a long record of terrific boards of directors," said Nakada, "I have been honored to work with each of them, and know this one will find the right leader to carry BGCH forward."
Copyright Hawaii News Now 2011. All rights reserved.
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