GAME ON: A pair of kids play foosball during the opening in December of a Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica branch in a Community Corp. of Santa Monica building on Broadway. (Photo by Daniel Archuleta)

By Jeong Park
Daily Press Intern

Michelle Arellano was everywhere during the last two years.

She lived in Oregon but flew back and forth to Santa Monica to serve as an interim director for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Monica, staying in the city for weeks at a time.

Arellano then moved to Sacramento to serve as an interim director for the Boys and Girls Clubs there. During those two years, she also consulted nonprofit organizations, coached new CEOs and became a minister.

“One thing I noticed was that there’s only so much you can do as an interim,” Arellano said.

For her, it was about time to settle down, and Santa Monica gave her that opportunity.

In April, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Monica, a nonprofit organization supporting nearly 4,000 youths throughout Los Angeles County, chose Arellano to be a full-time CEO, two months after she had started out as an interim. Arellano had worked as the club’s interim chief in 2014 as well.

Arellano did not imagine coming back to Santa Monica. However, she said she has known the club for the last 10 years. When she was approached to again lead the club, she said she knew the club was a good fit for her.

“They have such a big heart, rich history, dedicated staff and wonderful community,” Arellano said.

After Tim Blaylock stepped down in February, a couple board members approached her about leading the club, Arellano said.

Craig Mordoh, one of the board members who reached out to Arellano, said he saw Arellano as a good fit to grow the club to serve as many kids as possible. Mordoh said Arellano had interviewed for the position in 2014. During the interview, she impressed everyone with her knowledge about the club and its programming, Mordoh said.

This is not the first rodeo for Arellano. She worked as a CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest County in Temecula for nine years, growing the club to support more than 8,000 youth in the area.

Then she served as a director of organizational development at the Pacific region of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, working with 25 Boys and Girls Clubs for five years until 2014.

Arellano said she seeks to use her experience to improve the club, trying to determine what kind of policies and procedures to put in place. She said she redesigned the club’s resource development team as well as the board’s committees. She said she also promoted some staff as area directors for teen services to emphasize serving more teens.

Although the club has undergone several transitions in leadership in the past couple years, Arellano is optimistic about the club.

“Differences we make with kids haven’t missed a beat,” she said.