Creating ‘A Place to Become’ with All-Star Training


BGCNCG kicks off New Year


“Starve your distractions and feed your focus” was the opening inspiration offered to those gathered for the recent Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia’s All-Star training. Those remarks, delivered by Ronny Monford the Walton County Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year, set the tone for the all-day training held at the Walton Club location. 

“Make the youth you see every day become your focus,” he shared. “That child that’s struggling – there your focus. Because I am an example of what happens when youth development professionals like yourself care. I’m thankful you did, or I wouldn’t have become the man I am today.”

Over 60 full-time and part-time staff were present for BGCNCG’s training which covered a variety of topics such as learning engaging ways to implement powerful programming, fun inventive ways to teach during recreation, cultivating a diverse & inclusive environment and welcoming new emerging leadership into the Movement. 


BGCNCG’s Corporate Board Chair, Michael Tompkins, introduce himself and shared his passion for the Movement during the morning’s mission moment.

“Young people drive my commitment to Boys & Girls Clubs,” he shared. “I’m interested in how we can elevate our youth’s hope and opportunity in life, while balancing creating a fun environment that keeps youth engaged to find their passions.”

To kick off training, employees participated in a spin-off of Jeopardy centered around the BGC Way and best policy practices towards building a place where kids become. 


“We desire to immerse our staff in the ways we teach our kids, which is creative, character building and enriching in their lives and fun,” Melanie Unchuan, Vice President of Operations shared. “If our staff doesn’t embody our vision, then we can’t expect our youth to truly get a world class Club Experience. We are all about elevating our talent and continuing to be experts in youth development.”

Following Jeopardy that morning, staff members picked their various sessions to attend for the day based off of positions with they hold within the organization and individual passions for learning. 

Expansion of the Talent Pipeline Underway



BGCNCG staff were in for a treat when during lunch they heard from Lil Ice Cream Dude, a teenage entrepreneur. Beau Shell started his own business when he was 8-year-old and recently wrote a book alongside his mom to teach business skills to youth. The special presentation was to highlight the power of empowering youth and announce the partnership with Beau in teaching his entrepreneurial skills to the youth of BGCNCG.

Karen Robertson, Madison-Morgan County Boys & Girls Club Executive Director and Director of Training & Professional Learning for BGCNCG, said “trainings like these are so vital to our Youth Development Professionals because they are the catalyst for change in our youth.”

“By offering opportunities for team members to be equipped with new tools and refreshed on best practices, we can find direct correlations to improved employee performance.  Team members who receive the necessary training are more able to perform at a higher level in their job. This is invaluable to the Movement as it supports an increase in the quality of our members' Club experience as well as increases the strength of our employee base, giving us strong talent pipeline.”

Robertson added, “Our BGCNCG family is committed to ensuring that no matter why a youth enters one of our Clubs, that young person leaves with the knowledge that the Club Experience provides a fun, safe space and a fostering environment where they can be who they are – and become who they were meant to be.”

Before closing remarks, Youth Development Professionals from each Club were named as Professional of the year, as well as an organization wide winner. Staff members who have been in the movement more than five years were also honored. BGCNCG’s Youth of the Year Candidates and organization winner helped honor those individuals.

Those individuals who received awards were:

  • Bob Mackey, CEO & President for BGCNCG – 10 years of service

  • Melanie Unchuan, Vice President of Operations for BGCNCG – 15 years of service

  • Vera Hall – Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club – five years of service 

  • Nakkoria Smith - BE GREAT 21st Century Program – five years of service 

  • Asia Mitchell – Michael C. Conrads YDP of the Year, as well as Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club YDP of the Year

  • Kimberly Johnson – YDP of the Year for Walton County Boys & Girls Club

  • Shana Boswell – YDP of the Year for Madison-Morgan County Boys & Girls Club & honored for her five years of service

  • Greta Cosby – YDP of the Year for BE GREAT 21st Century Program 


Bob Mackey, CEO & President of BGCNCG, closed the training with remarks on the importance of the work BGCNCG does in the communities it serves. 


“As Youth Development Professionals we have the ability to change lives by creating hope & opportunity for our youth in our everyday moments that will shape their lives forever,” he said. “When our Club doors open, excitement, enriching programs and change happens. Our Clubs and the work we do is the beginning place for how Great Futures are made and we show up everyday with the passion to prove that every youth has what it takes to be successful.”

To learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia, visit www.bgcncg.comor call 770-267-8034.