After serving for the past 90 days as the interim director for the Lodi Boys and Girls Club, Eddie Cotton has been named the new executive director of the club.
Cotton, 49, will replace Paul Bonell, who served as CEO from December 2011 until January of this year.
Mark Bregman, chairman of the club's board and part of the nomination committee, said Cotton's service as interim director aided in the board's decision.
"He went through an evaluation process and passed with flying colors. We feel Eddie is the right choice for the health of the club," Bregman said.
Now that the club is in a better financial position, it enables Cotton to concentrate on the children and programs, which is where his strengths lie, said Bregman. With more than 30 years of experience in the Boys and Girls Club organization, Bregman calls Cotton a full-bred Boys and Girls Club employee.
"He has seen a lot of things that work over the years, and things that don't work. He's got a great combination of background of what to do and not to do," Bregman said.
Cotton began his career with the Boys and Girls Club in Peoria, Ill., where he served as program assistant following his high school graduation. The rest of his education took place in the Boys and Girls Club organization.
"If you name the training, I promise I've been through it," Cotton said.
Over the years, he has served in various Boys and Girls Club positions, including program director in Southern California, director of operations in Stockton, executive director in Galt, director of operations in the Greater Sacramento region, and executive director in Merced. He also served as program director at the Lodi Boys and Girls Club from 1993 to 1998.
He most recently was vice president of operations for the Lodi Boys and Girls Club.
Cotton's first goals are to fine-tune the club's programs, to make sure it is reaching its full potential. He also wants to create more awareness about what the club has to offer the community.
"I want to make sure the community knows we're here to serve, and make sure we have the best programs possible," he said.
The club's goal is to create a reputation as a place where children can prepare for adulthood by exploring different vocational experiences, Bregman said. He believes Cotton will help to reach those goals.
"Eddie's strengths are definitely the kids and the programs. He's really good at coordinating things and keeping himself accountable and delivering what he promises," Bregman said. Cotton lives in Lodi with his wife of 14 years, Julianne, and their three children. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, going to garage sales and gardening.