Across Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, we are fortunate to be surrounded by enthusiastic, talented, and passionate colleagues who wake up every day ready to inspire young people to reach their full potential.
Each year, we take time to celebrate staff members who have truly gone above and beyond for our youth and families. Check out some of our outstanding staff members who were recognized for our 2020 Staff of the Year Awards!
Program Services Staff of the Year: Erin Gutierrez, MA
Erin serves as the Director of Learning & Development and has been with BGCSF for 12 years.
When asked why she was chosen for the award, a colleague said: “Erin is always forward-thinking. She balances the tradition and history of each Club with the desire to continue pushing us to be better and be on the cutting edge. She always takes the time to meet people where they are, teach with creativity and empathy, and use her resources wisely. We are 100% a better organization because of Erin's contributions.”
Clubhouse Director Staff of the Year: Mike Vuong
Mike serves as the Tenderloin Clubhouse Director and has been with BGCSF for 18 years.
When asked why he was chosen for the award, a colleague said: “Mike is the backbone of the Tenderloin Clubhouse and a pillar of the community. Mike leads with his heart and cares about all of Tenderloin Clubhouse’s staff and their families. Mike’s ability to navigate through an ever-changing environment and think on the fly enables him to give the staff of the Tenderloin Clubhouse the support they need. Mike's work ethic and drive is flat out amazing and his tireless devotion to his craft is unparalleled. I believe that Mike's impact on the Tenderloin will have positive outcomes for years to come!”
Assistance Clubhouse Director/Site Director Staff of the Year: Jontonette “Star” Clark
Star serves as the Assistant Clubhouse Director at our Sunnydale Clubhouse and has been with BGCSF for 9 years.
When asked why she was chosen for the award, a colleague said: “Star is one of the hardest workers I know. All she wants is to make sure that the youth in Sunnydale get the best opportunities to succeed. I am proud of her growth over the past year and impressed on how she coaches and supports her team.”
Administrative Office Staff of the Year: Christine Costa
Christine serves as the Marketing Manager and has been with BGCSF for 3 years.
When asked why she was chosen for the award, a colleague said: “Christine’s happy-go-lucky attitude makes her an awesome partner. She’s attentive and knows how to connect well with staff and kids in the field. She’s quite the multitasker but always stops to answer any questions I have about branding. I’m grateful to know and work with her.”
BGCSF Beacon at Carver Elementary School Staff of the Year: Zachary Wade
Zach serves as the Program Leader at the Carver Elementary Club and has been with BGCSF for 1 year.
When asked why he was chosen for the award, Beacon Director Kevin Wilson said: “Zach has been extremely reliable and trustworthy with his attendance and execution of programmatic goals. In true Boys & Girls Clubs fashion, Zach always places our youth first and supports the families of the Carver village to the best of his ability. Zach is always willing to step-up or step-back as needed to support the Beacon program and leads by example to be solution-based when challenging situations surface. Zach plays an important role within our team and is fully invested in what we do as a program and organization. We are so thankful and appreciate his selflessness and look forward to his continued success and growth with the Beacon program and within BCGSF.”
Camp Mendocino Staff of the Year: Steven Fenech
Steve serves as the Facilities Manager at Camp Mendocino and has been with BGCSF for 2 years.
When asked why he was chosen for the award, Camp Director Sara Richardson said: “Steve is a true team player. He constantly pushes us to think outside of the box and is a great thought partner when it comes to making Camp better. He’s a diligent worker with an incredible eye for detail. He engages our large volunteer base well and is always flexible as plans change around him.
Steve is more than a coworker, he’s an amazing human and friend who cares deeply about others. For someone who is out of his comfort zone in the summer, he fits right in as an integral part of our team and we all couldn’t be prouder to work with him.”
Columbia Park Clubhouse Staff of the Year: Sean Hyatt
Sean serves as the Education Director at the Columbia Park Clubhouse and has been with BGCSF for 2 years.
When asked why he was chosen for the award, Clubhouse Director James Holley said: “Sean has worked hard to build a culture of academic success at Columbia Park Clubhouse and has established a great rapport with parents and community partners. Most recently Sean stepped up and supported the kids who were in the building during our COVID-19 programming. He worked with parents who were Essential Workers ensuring that all 25 members attending daily had academic support.”
Don Fisher Clubhouse Staff of the Year: Jonathan Riley
Jon serves as the Aquatics Director at the Don Fisher Clubhouse and has been with BGCSF for 8 years.
When asked why he was chosen for the award, Clubhouse Director Spencer Tolliver said: “Jon continues to put youth first in every aspect of his job and it permeates throughout his department. His commitment to youth in terms of his programs, his swim teams and kids of color is only rivaled by the connection Jon makes with individual youth. Jon understands that his integrity, the integrity of the department, Club and organization are all intertwined. Therefore, he works hard to ensure that he and his department operate in a manner that upholds the values of the organization. Moreover, he has demonstrated the ability to balance safety and efficiency within his department.
I truly believe Jon is the best at what he does, not just in the Boys & Girls Club movement, but in the sport of youth aquatics nationwide.”
Excelsior Clubhouse Staff of the Year: Angela Hwang
Angela serves as the High School Services Director at the Excelsior Clubhouse and has been with BGCSF for 1 year.
When asked why she was chosen for the award, Clubhouse Director Jennifer Snyder said: “Angela is loved by her teens and middle schoolers and highly respected by her peers. She takes initiative and always goes above and beyond for the Club.
Angela is a self-starter and very creative in solving problems when challenges arise. She is someone that we can all count on when help is needed. Her laugh is infectious, and her cooking is delicious!! Angela, we appreciate YOU, and we all have your back for all your endeavors to support Excelsior youth.”
Gateway High School Club Staff of the Year: Earl Declet
Until he was recently promoted to Citywide Director of Teen Services, Earl served as the Site Director at our Gateway High School Club. He has been with BGCSF for 4 years.
When asked why Earl was chosen for the award, Senior Director of School-Based Clubs Carlton Eichelberger said: “Earl’s professionalism and collaborative approach helped BGCSF to establish what is possible at GHS. We were quickly able to meet and exceed attendance expectations at GHS. Earl embraced the goals and challenged the team with a cohesive strategy to effectively serve the greatest number of students without jeopardizing the integrity of the program.”
Mission Clubhouse Staff of the Year: Katharine Swanson
Katharine serves as the Education Director at our Mission Clubhouse and has been with BGCSF for 2 years.
When asked why she was chosen for the award, Clubhouse Director Sophia Rutkin said: “Kat has stepped up as a leader in the Clubhouse immensely. She has repeatedly demonstrated creativity, empathy, and integrity in her leadership among staff and youth. Most importantly, she is unwaveringly youth first in her program design, behavior management, and relationship building. She is an integral part of the Mission team, and continues to lead by example through continuous learning and growth.”
San Francisco Community School Club Staff of the Year: Janet Cruz
Janet serves as a Program Leader at our San Francisco Community School Club and has been with BGCSF for 1 year.
When asked why she was chosen for the award, Site Director Jose Gomez said: “Janet is flexible, adaptable, and eager to support her team members. This year, Janet took multiple roles in supporting San Francisco Community School and the organization when needed. She listened to critiques and improved herself as a strong program leader.”
Sunnydale Clubhouse Staff of the Year: Bre Frierson
Bre serves as the Education Director at our Sunnydale Clubhouse and has been with BGCSF for 1 year.
When asked why she was chosen for the award, Clubhouse Director Matt Henry said: “Bre has continued to be one of the pillars at the Sunnydale Clubhouse and in the community. Being born and raised in Sunnydale brings a needed community perspective which curtails her approach to the work.
Thank you, Bre, for your continued dedication and commitment to your community especially through this troubled COVID time!!”
Tenderloin Clubhouse Staff of the Year: Winnie Phan
Winnie serves as the High School Services Coordinator at our Tenderloin Clubhouse and has been with BGCSF for 3 years.
When asked why she was chosen for the award, Clubhouse Director Michael Vuong said: “Winnie has grown into a confident and effective programmer, using her creativity as a way to really distinguish her facilitation style while still nailing the outcomes of every workshop and lesson. Winnie has guided the Club LIT program, on-boarded loads of MYEEP interns, and provided the needed structure, guidance, and mentorship needed for our teens to be successful.
As stated by a coworker, "Winnie has been working really hard to create an innovative and engaging LIT and MYEEP program with interactive workshops and many opportunities for our program interns to enhance their skills and step deeper into their leadership as role models for our youth and community."
It has truly been an honor to watch Winnie grow all year long and we look forward to seeing her continue to grow, build, and connect.”
Visitacion Valley Clubhouse Staff of the Year: Brenda Yan
Brenda serves as the Administrative Assistant at our Sunnydale Clubhouse and has been with BGCSF for 5 years.
When asked why she was chosen for the award, Clubhouse Director Matt Henry said: “Brenda is the glue that holds the Visitacion Valley Clubhouse together. Her language translation ability is vital for our community, and allows us to have a real ear and direct voice to our families. Not to mention her impeccable data entry and analysis for both Sunnydale and Vis Valley Clubhouses. She has allowed us to have a real imprint on the Greater Visitacion Valley Community. Thank you, Brenda!”
Willie Mays Clubhouse Staff of the Year: Sara Reyna
Sara serves as the Community School Liaison at our Willie Mays Clubhouse and has been with BGCSF for 1 year.
When asked why she was chosen for the award, Assistant Clubhouse Director Christina Brown said: “Sara has bridged the gaps between One Purpose School, Willie Mays Clubhouse, and members’ parents. Sara is a self starter, team player and leader in her position. Sara consistently connects families with resources they are in desperate need of. With many staff changes throughout the year at the Club, Sara inserted herself into the ratio to support the staff even though her job title didn't require her to do so.
During this pandemic particularly -- with emotions at an all time high, staff adjusting to new conditions, and families getting familiar with the new ways of the Club -- Sara led all the staff in outreach, program redesign, and attendance. Sara has exemplified every quality a leader of the Club would want in a team member.”
BGCSF is currently offering free support and training to Black-serving and Black-led individuals and organizations participating in The Dream Keeper Initiative, a citywide effort launched in 2021 to reinvest $120 million over two years into San Francisco’s diverse Black communities.
April is Arab American Heritage Month and I am excited to both reflect on what this month means to me personally and share how BGCSF and Camp Mendocino engage Arab youth and their families.
We are pleased to highlight a member of our Senior Leadership Team, Erin Gutierrez. Erin has served the BGCSF community for 15 years. Her experience spans multiple roles across the organization and provides a powerful and unique perspective on the holistic impact of BGCSF.