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Hockenberry returns to her old job leading Boys & Girls Club

Julia Hockenberry Julia Hockenberry

Julia Hockenberry, who left as Boys & Girls Club executive director nine months ago for a fundraising job with the Flat Rock Playhouse, is returning to the youth club in her old job.

She starts on Monday after the July resignation of executive director J.C. Schwab.

“Julia is well positioned to lead this organization and set the course for our next phase of growth,” Boys & Girls Board of Directors Chair Erica Allison said. “Clearly, she has history with us and a passion for this work, our club and our kids that knows no bounds.”

Hockenberry is no stranger to the club. After her initial hire in 2009 as resource development director, she grew into subsequent roles at the organization through the next nine years that included assistant executive director in 2013 and executive director from 2016 until 2018.
“Returning to the club is a great privilege and an opportunity that is unexpected but completely fulfilling. I’m excited to see through some of the work that was started years ago with very outstanding, dedicated staff and volunteer partners. We have a lot of work to do,” she said.

The club recently completed a long-awaited expansion, bringing the campus footprint to 55,000 square feet. This growth was instigated by persistent waiting lists for services, with families waiting to enroll children who numbered into the hundreds. Since the onset of this school year, Club attendance has been robust, with the newly expanded facility accommodating well over 400 young people each day.

“The need and the numbers are certainly there, so what a thrill to be able to serve more youth in this state-of-the-art space that the community has made possible,” Hockenberry noted. “Our commitment is to maintain a laser focus on quality within our walls in programs, staff and outcomes as we move forward,” she continued.

The leadership team is strengthened by the recent promotion of assistant executive director Diana Torres-Edwards, who has a tenure at the club that is nearly decades deep. Torres-Edwards first came to the club as a teen member in 2001and has since moved through the ranks and proven herself in multiple roles ranging from program staff to outcomes director.
“We are very excited about Julia’s return,” Torres-Edwards said. “Her leadership is exactly what we need, and I look forward to working alongside her as we move into the future.”

Founded in 1993 in a 2,000-square-foot building in the Green Meadows neighborhood, the Boys & Girls Club was has grown from serving several hundred youth annually to serving 1,530 in 2018, with year-round programs promoting school success, career readiness, health and fitness, and positive personal decision making. Despite its remarkable growth, community support has enabled the c to maintain unprecedented accessibility for the children who are most in need in Henderson County. An all-inclusive annual membership is only $5 per child.