Katie Leao, who has been with Western Nevada College since 2007, takes over in November as chief professional officer at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada.
Johnny Olivas, the club’s board president, disclosed that on Tuesday and said Leao, who has been director of development with WNC’s foundation about three years, is the right person to lead the club as it stands on the threshold of expansion by building a teen center addition.
“We are extremely excited as a board,” Olivas said. “We have found the right person to move forward. She’s going to be a great person to move forward.”
Olivas said Leao will lead a staff of about 20, including regular and junior staff.
“I think she’s going to fit in well,” he said.
Leao, whose undergraduate and graduate work was done at Arizona University in parks and recreation management, in 2009-10 was named WNC’s outstanding administrative faculty member of the year.
Carson City’s Jed Block, who served as foundation chairman the first year Leao was director of development there a few years ago, called Leao a “very nice person” when he learned of her new role. “I think Katie will probably do a good job,” Block said.
The club will announcing soon when ground will be broken on the teen center addition. Donors put up at least $485,000 to help build the center, which triggered a $1.2 million that was contingent on at least $400,000 being raised earlier this year. The $1.2 million is coming from the William N. Pennington Foundation in Reno.
The teen center addition will be 6,000 square feet, about half the size of the existing club structure at 1870 Russell Way, and it will be built on the east side.
Leao’s predecessor was Laurie Gorris, who left the club earlier in the year.