The Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County has added two Director of Operations and Member Experience positions and a Director of Initiatives and Community Engagement as part of its three-year strategic plan to grow, expand and deepen its impact in the communities it serves.

Mike Coelho, former BGCNC Program Director, has assumed one of the positions and is responsible for program operations at BGCNC’s North End Clubhouse and outreach in the Newport County and South County schools and communities.  He has over seventeen years of experience working within the Boys & Girls Club movement. Having been born and raised in Rhode Island, he was a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Pawtucket, where he was twice selected as the club’s Youth of the Year.  Mike received his B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of Rhode Island.  He is also a 2013 graduate of Leadership Rhode Island, an institution where organizational leaders can refine and enhance their commitment to shaping the state’s future.  

Rob O’Neill joined BGCNC in October to fill the other Director position and oversees licensed child care, recreation, safety and Camp Grosvenor.  Previously, Rob worked for another Boys & Girls Clubs in Massachusetts for over six years, where he held several positions including Aquatics Director, Program Director and Director of Operations. Rob was instrumental in the club’s significant growth in the impact made within the community and on the future of its youth.  He attended Roger Williams University.

Kate Cantwell assumed the new role of Director of Initiatives and Community Engagement, implementing BGCNC’s workforce development programs, talent recruitment strategy, and implementation of its strategic plan. Kate has been with BGCNC for four years leading the collective impact initiative, Working Cities, receiving accolades from evaluators and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston for the collaborative’s progress and collaborative leadership. She brings twelve years of experience in national, state and local civic initiatives, including her past post as the Associate Director of the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University.   Kate received her B.A. in History and Political Science from Bridgewater State University and her M.P.A. from Brown University.

“Goals under our strategic plan include serving more kids and expanding high quality programming, capacity and community connection,” stated Executive Director and CEO Joe Pratt. “Rob, Mike and Kate have the experience and leadership skills to help us achieve those goals and ensure that we continue to fulfill our mission of guiding children and youth onto the road to success.” 

Now in its 65th year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County was founded to provide a safe haven for youth who needed help with challenges in their lives and encouragement toward brighter futures. The Club’s mission is to ”inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need help most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.”  The Club’s vision is to provide opportunities that assure success is within reach of every young person who comes through our doors, and all members are on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle. Licensed child care has a four-star BrightStar rating, and BGCNC’s Camp Grosvenor is ACA-accredited. This school year, BGCNC’s goal is to ensure that its programs and services continue to support members as they recover from the pandemic’s impact on their education and well-being. 

Source: Boys & Girls Club of Newport County

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).