Former publisher for The Stockton Record Roger Coover has been named the interim executive director of the Lodi Boys and Girls Club after Edwin Cotton resigned from his position as the clubs CEO.

Coover has spent 40 years in journalism and has severed on various boards for community organizations throughout San Joaquin County.

“From his experience with the Stockton Record, his strong background in the community, and his leadership skills, we believe he will help the Lodi Boys and Girls Club make positive changes,” Lodi Boys and Girls Club board member Suzanne Ledbetter said.

Cotton’s departure comes on the heels of a tumultuous fiscal year that nearly led to the closure of the Boys and Girls club last October.

The loss of donors led to a steep financial decline, according to Ledbetter.

Following the closure of the General Mills Plant, the club lost one of its largest donors. The New-Sentinel reported General Mills donated $50,000 to $100,000 to the club annually.

The donation by General Mills accounted for 20 percent of the clubs budget, which faced a steep financial decline following the plants closure in 2015.

With new leadership, the board is optimistic that the club will regain its financial footing, and keep the club open to the children it serves.

“I will be coming out to the community to meet people and donors. I want to ensure the community I aware of the value of the club and the children it serves,” Coover said.

Board member Cathy Metcalf hopes Coover’s ‘no-nonsense’ personality and direction will help streamline operations while facilitating the dozens of programs that the club offers.

“In 2018 we serviced 1300 students, with our homework tutoring program which helps students build strong study habits, our career launch program which helps students make plans for the future and our keystone program which empowers youth and encourages them to volunteer in the community,” Ledbetter said.

Metcalf believes Coover's appointment as interim executive director will be a smooth transition for the club.

“Our priority is the children. We are dedicated to offering amazing programs, and determined to move forward under new leadership to ensure the club stays open and offers kids the in this community the resources they need,” Metcalf said.

Coover will spend the next 60 days going over the clubs expenditures and budget.

“I look forward to serving the community and maintain the club,” Coover said.

Coover’s focus will deal primarily with networking in the community and bring new donors to the club.

Under Coover's leadership services at the club will continue as normal, the staff at the Boys and Girls Club is committed to serving Lodi’s youth with the strong programming provided at the club.

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