After 37 years of working for Boys & Girls Clubs, Chris Protz wanted two things -- to further his career and to make a home in a community where he could retire.
He said he realized both goals when he accepted the job of executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry. Protz started Feb. 27.
"It's been a great career for me," he said. "I can't see myself doing anything else. The longer you're in this work, the more of an impact you see as they grow up and become adults. The kids won't come up and tug on your shirt and say, 'You're making a difference in my life,' but when they're grown up, they will."
Most of Protz's career has been with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, most recently as the executive director of Camp Whitcomb/Mason, a 300-acre year-round camp.
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In the Lowcountry, he replaces former executive director Doug Barry, who moved to the northeast, board chairwoman Karen Golden said. Barry was with the Lowcountry chapter for about four years in various roles. Dick Farmer has been serving as interim director for the past three or four months.
Protz and Golden share several priorities, including tracking and quantifying successes and making that information public.
"We need to get good information on the types of programs and their outcomes and the impacts we're making on the lives of their community," Protz said.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry is composed of five clubs -- in Beaufort, Bluffton, Jasper County and Sheldon and on Hilton Head Island -- serving about 2,000 kids between the ages of 6 and 18, according to the news release.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeonBeaufort.