A Passionate Leader Coming Home to Lead Greater Salem Boys & Girls Club

July 18, 2014
Courtesy Photo  Colin Hanlon

Courtesy Photo Colin Hanlon

by Len Lathrop

He grew up in Windham and often hitchhiked back and forth after school to the Derry Boys & Girls Club.  Soon Colin E. Hanlon will return to his home state; this time he will lead the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem as chief professional officer, announced the club’s board of directors.  Hanlon has a record of club development and over two decades of experience with youth organizations.

Coaching and mentoring youth has been a passion and driving force since Coach Mike Cassidy at Pinkerton Academy saw Hanlon’s skills and invited him back to Pinkerton after college graduation.  He has worked in youth development since graduating from Plymouth State College in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in science.  Now Hanlon will head a club with six houses and a $2.4 million budget.

A long-distance relationship with his future wife took Hanlon to Hawaii where his work with youth took off.  Helping kids reach their potential got into his blood.  His professional Boys & Girls Club history began when he successfully petitioned Boys and Girls Clubs of America to charter several private youth clubs in Maui, Hawaii.  As the chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Maui, he has worked with federal and state departments, country government, agencies, and the communities to provide a safe and positive place for the youth of Maui.

In talking about the Boys & Girls Clubs, he related this: “More and more, communities and business owners are demanding accountability from nonprofit organizations,” said Hanlon.  “Volunteers, donors and potential partner organizations want to make a difference; therefore, they want to contribute not just to a worthy cause, but to one that really is effective.  We continue to meet these challenges by focusing on deepening the impact on the youth served at our clubs.

“I believe that there will always remain three important factors that are critical to the success of every Boys & Girls Club; caring staff members who have good relationships with youth, high quality programs that meet the interests and needs of youth, and a clean, safe, and fun environment.  There is no substitute for well-trained staff and superior programs.  Our goal is to provide the best environment, program, and character development opportunities for our young people.  We look forward to this challenge with confidence, and that we will achieve all of these objectives because our kids need the Boys & Girls Club!”

Hanlon and his wife, Erin, and their three children, have the goal of being in New Hampshire to start at the Greater Salem Club in early August.

The Salem club is running full throttle with their summer programs, and the staff seems excited to have this past member of Boys & Girls Club of Greater Derry, at the helm.