New B&GH Board Chairman Looking Forward to "Make a Difference"

December 21, 2018 

“My passion has always been to ‘make a difference,’ working with youth and worthwhile causes.”

It is because of this passion that SAS Executive Event Manager Ken Bland of Garner became part of the North Carolina Jaycees leading him to work with Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina based in Lake Waccamaw.

“Boys and Girls Homes was a state-wide priority project along with the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals and the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center at Duke,” Bland said. “Jaycees offered an opportunity to make a difference and more. I held a number of positions within my local chapter and then moved up to the district, regional and state levels as well.”

That service resulted in Bland representing the Jaycees on the B&GH Board in 2000. The connection formed has kept Bland serving on the board ever since.

Established in 1954, B&GH has provided a comprehensive array of services for more than 7,500 children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. B&GH offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features an accredited public charter school with a middle school and high school curriculum.

“Once I started working directly with B&GH, the residents really kept me involved,” said Bland. “Spending time with the residents, hearing their stories and knowing that B&GH provides a safe environment for them to grow, learn and succeed.

“I had a wonderful upbringing with loving parents and a very supportive twin sister, a life full of opportunities,” Bland continued. “This is something every child should have and the programs and services that the Boys and Girls Homes offer every resident those same opportunities.”

Bland is also inspired by the B&GH staff.

“This is not just a job to them, it is a way of life to make a difference in the life of a child,” Bland said. “Having the opportunity to work alongside this group of talented professionals is what keeps me involved.”

Bland officially started his 2-year term as chairman in July and his leadership is something B&GH President Gary Faircloth is excited about.

“Ken has been one of our most passionate supporters for years,” said Faircloth. “His enthusiasm is contagious and has brought new supporters to our efforts for both specific projects and general support. We are confident that he will help to guide our board into new opportunities.”

Even with the enthusiastic support of the organization’s leadership, the prospect of taking on the chairman’s position for the board was a bit overwhelming for Bland.

“It’s really the passion and commitment that I see from each of the Board members that excites me about this position,” he said. “My hope is that I will inspire them a little to continue to raise awareness and spread the word of the needs of B&GH.

“My hope is that we, as a board, will continue to build on the great foundation in all areas,” Bland continued. “I want to ensure that the programs and services that we offer at B&GH continue to meet the needs of the community, region and state as well as be the gold standard service provider in the state of North Carolina. We need to continue to attract talented staff to support our growing programs and services while taping into every funding stream that we can find.”

Bland will lead his next meeting in mid-January and is ready to continue the effort.

“I am really excited about this journey and looking forward to working with the staff and the board of trustees over the next couple years to ‘make a difference.’”

About Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., has been helping children since 1954. Since then, more than 7,500 children have benefitted from the services of the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. B&GH offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited public charter school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 260 vulnerable children are cared for through the residential and community-based services provided by B&GH at any given time. B&GH is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.