Community center names interim executive director

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The Center of Anna Maria Island has named someone to take the helm — for the time being.

Carl Weeks, former longtime president of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Manatee County, accepted the position of interim director in late February.

He succeeds Kristen Lessig, center executive director since July 2015, who announced in January she accepted a position at the Sarasota YMCA.

Weeks worked at the Boys and Girls Club for 42 years. In 2000, he became executive director, a title he held until January 2011, when he became president, according to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Manatee County.

His accolades include the Edgar H. Price Jr. humanitarian award in 2014, the Boys and Girls Club of America National Professional Service Award in 2006 and recognition of 40 years of national service to youth from the Kiwanis Club of Bradenton in 2010, according to a news release issued March 1 by the center.

Weeks said he agreed to “keep the seat warm” for the next executive director in a phone call March 1.

Weeks took the reigns as the center undertakes a three-month search for a permanent replacement.

Weeks said a conversation with Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore and center board chair David Zaccagnino, as well as a tour of the facility, convinced him it was “the right thing for (him) to do.”

Previous interactions with the center were “from afar,” he said. In the 1970s, he brought boys from the DeSoto Boys Club of America to play in baseball tournaments at the Anna Maria Youth Center.

His term as interim executive director began Feb. 27 and he held a staff meeting Feb. 28.

“The people they have in place, it’s a great group of committed people to work with,” he said.

Weeks sees his role as supporting staff efforts.

“I just want to be able to meet people, greet people and show them the wonderful things happening at the center,” he said.

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