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story.lead_photo.caption Wade Middaugh Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

The Boys & Girls Club of Jefferson City found its new chief executive officer close to home.

The nonprofit announced this morning that it is moving Chief Operation Officer Wade Middaugh to the leadership position.

In late July, current BGC leader Stephanie Johnson announced she would be leaving the club to take on the role of executive director at the Special Learning Center.

Middaugh joined the staff of the Boys & Girls Club five years ago as an office manager. He quickly transitioned to the COO position.

"I grew with that job and became the COO — handling the operational piece of how we function there," Middaugh said. "It's been an adventure."

The club serves close to 1,000 school-age children each year, according to a news release. It has an annual budget of about $1.7 million and employs about 50 full- and part-time staff members.

Johnson led the organization for the past nine years.

"Working alongside Stephanie has been an honor," Middaugh said. "You see her passion for the Boys & Girls Club. I do share that passion; I view it as there are not much better things that you can do than be a part of kids' lives and helping move them forward."

Middaugh said he can further the club's mission.

"I realized early on that I have a passion for being a part of serving a community, passion for helping people," he said. "Changing people's lives has always been a passion of mine. That's been my driving factor."

The club offers programs at its main facility, 1105 Lafayette St.; the Knowles Annex, 424 Stadium Blvd.; and at its Callaway Hills Elementary School site, 2715 Route AA in Holts Summit.

Programs at the club help children fill their educational gaps, Middaugh said.

"We've had a lot of growth, and I'd like to see us buckle down with our programs," he added. "We want to continue to help with that academic enrichment but also provide better opportunities and experiences for our members."

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