We recently sat down with board member Glen Davenport to learn about his experience with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula (BGCVP). With more than 50 years of involvement with the Boys & Girls Clubs Movement, Glen Davenport has seen a lot of transformation during his time with the organization. Originally a member of Boys Club of Newport News before it became Boys & Girls Clubs, Mr. Davenport has experienced many different positions with BGCVP and has enjoyed each role he has played.
Read the interview below to find out about his unique perspective:
BGCVP: How long have you been involved with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula?
Davenport: I have been a part of the community of the Virginia Peninsula for more than 50 years. I was born on the Peninsula and attended Newport News High School. While growing up, I attended the Boys Club on the corner of Jefferson and Hilton near downtown Newport News(Below). After graduating high school, I attended Christopher Newport College and then opened up my business in the local area. After a few years of getting settled and establishing Teagle Insurance Agency, I became involved with Boys Club of Newport News as a board member.
BGCVP: What roles have you taken as an alumnus of the Clubs?
Davenport: As an alumnus, I involved myself with Boys Clubs of Newport News around 1983. One of the first positions I held was that of the President of the Board of Directors which helps oversee the governance of the organization. One of the first projects that the board and I undertook was the relocation of the Club on Jefferson Ave. We noticed that the numbers at the Club had slowly been falling and something had to be done. After researching the Peninsula and its families, the board and I decided to move the Club to a more effective location. This move ended up being very successful and provided access to our services to a larger range of families.
The relocated Club is our present day Peninsula Unit and happens to be the first one million dollar philanthropic ask on the Peninsula.
One of my favorite projects was serving as a liaison to the Girls Clubs before they combined with Boys Clubs. In 1991, as a member of the board, we conducted research on the effectiveness of clubs and introduced a plan to combine the two organizations. Although we had a little concern from a few board members of both organizations, the combination of the two organizations was a monumental merger for us as it began the organization we know and love today.
(Left: is the original Boys Clubs logo)
BGCVP: Why have you chosen to stay involved with BGCVP for so long?
Davenport: I feel like I’m giving up a great opportunity when I miss a board meeting. The board meetings are a fun experience because we are working on ways to better our community. You feel good when you leave the meetings because you see the impact on the kids and also the economic impact on the community. Board members of BGCVP, like me, usually don’t want to leave the board because we are able to see the positive impact of our actions in the community.
BGCVP: What is the most impressive undertaking of BGCVP that you have been a part of?
Davenport: My favorite part of BGCVP is our ability to maintain growth in hard times. Our biggest undertaking of BGCVP was the building of the Peninsula unit(Below) in the Denbigh community, that I mentioned earlier. This move came after we did research on the communities of the peninsula and saw what communities needed our services most. The reason I think it was one of the biggest projects by the Board and BGCVP was that this was the first one million dollar philanthropic solicitation on the Peninsula. This move was important because it doubled the capacity for members on the Peninsula and was such a large business deal that Mayor Jesse Rattley had to be included in discussions.
BGCVP: What do you think of your time on the Board of Directors for BGCVP and what can we expect from the board in the future?
Davenport: Being on the Board of Directors at BGCVP is one of my favorite investments in the Peninsula. I have had such a fun time being a part of the Board for 34 years because we are successful in creating a better community for our kids. No matter what is happening politically in the world, the board members and I have one goal in mind, the kids of the Virginia Peninsula.
I am amazed at the level of consistency in service that BGCVP and the Board have been able to provide the youth of Newport News. When we take our time and do the right research, the Board is very effective in creating programs that greatly benefit the community. In the future, I would like to see BGCVP stretch deeper in Hampton to provide more service to as many kids as possible. As we have proven, good programs plus child involvement equals a positive community and I believe there is still room to open doors in our community.
We thank Mr. Davenport for his extended service to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula and look forward to his continued leadership.
Boys & Girls Clubs