ORLANDO – The Board of Directors of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida (BGCCF) has announced the appointment of its new President & CEO, Jamie Merrill.
Merrill is an expert in operations management. A resident of Lake County, Merrill has spent the last 16 years in positions of increasing responsibility in the senior living and health care industries, culminating in the position of Chief Operating Officer of Sonata Senior Living in Orlando. Previously, she served as Senior Vice President of Operations for Brookdale Senior Living, directing the operations for 72 senior living communities across Florida. Merrill serves on several local and national boards, including Florida Senior Living Association, The University of Central Florida Senior Living and Hospitality and Argentum Women in Leadership, and was awarded the 2022 McKnight’s Woman of Distinction. A graduate of Wayne State University, Merrill and her husband Blake are parents of two children.
“Jamie is a visionary leader with a heart for service and developing others,” said Lisa Mihelich, Chair of BGCCF. “She has the clear-eyed vision and experience-forged wisdom necessary to help build on the tremendous strengths of our organization, and our staff’s outstanding track record enriching the lives and prospects of underserved children.”
Brock Nicholas, a BGCCF board member and past chair who led the search committee, said, “Jamie’s management and communication skills will attract and retain top talent in a competitive environment. Her operational expertise will ensure delivery of enriching programming and growth to the children in our community. The search committee is enormously confident in the strength of leadership, and future of our organization, with Jamie’s appointment as CEO.”
As CEO, Merrill will lead Florida’s largest Boys & Girls Club organization. Currently, BGCCF operates 40 Club sites in 6 counties—Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Brevard and Nassau. Last year, the organization served more than 11,000 children, offering them academic support, extracurricular enrichment and positive adult role models during the non-school hours. The Clubs are located in neighborhoods that rank, on average, at the 80th percentile for household poverty, nationally.
“My personal and professional life has always encompassed serving others, from youth to seniors,” says Merrill. “I am excited to join BGCCF and eager to serve beside such a dedicated team, who is focused on the critical mission of developing our future generations while reaching forward for new opportunities to broaden our impact.”
As CEO, Merrill will follow BGCCF’s longtime leader, Gary Cain, who served in the role for 29 years. Cain will remain with the organization in an emeritus role, focusing on special projects.