Leadership

Kenneth R. Darden
President/CEO

Ken Darden is a veteran of 45 years with the Boys & Girls Club Movement. Ken has worked at a number of Clubs in various positions. He served in executive capacities with Clubs in Chicago, Washington, D.C.; Annapolis, and with the National Organization (Boys & Girls Clubs of America) in Atlanta.

Before going to Baltimore, Maryland, Ken served nine-years as the President/CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, CT (the birthplace of the Boys & Girls Club Movement). Ken provided executive leadership for four full service Clubs, three school-based Clubs and a Club housed in a juvenile detention facility, serving over 8,000 children in the Greater Hartford area. Ken was a part of the leadership that organized Hartford’s successful Capitol Campaign to build a new 30,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art Boys & Girls Club facility.

Ken, a former Robert W. Woodruff Fellow, received his master's degree in nonprofit management and fundraising from the New School for Social Research in New York and his Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from City College of New York.


Jeff Johnson
Vice President of Juvenile Services

Gordon (Jeff) Johnson, originally from Utica, NY, began working with youth after making a conscious decision to leave the medical field in the hopes that he may have more of an impact on the lives of young people. Since then, he has worked with youth for most of his adult life. Jeff has been employed with Boys & Girls Clubs movement for more than 12 years. Prior to Boys & Girls Clubs he was employed by the Utica Family YMCA as the Sr. Program & Aquatics Director and as one of the City of Utica’s Youth Bureau Director’s under the direction of Mayor Tim Julian, of which he coordinated the City’s After-school & Summer Sports programs.

Jeff is also the Co-founder of the “Hoops & Dreams” Project (based in Utica NY) which is a Community wide initiative designed to empower Young Men & Families through education and prevention. He also brings the experience of serving on several Board/Committees to include NAACP, United Way and City of Utica Youth Advisory Board.


Y'landa Simmons
Vice President of Resource Development

Y’landa Simmons came to Baltimore in 2007 to help revitalize the Boys & Girls Clubs in the metropolitan area; and the four traditional Clubs and the specialized unit for boys in the Juvenile Justice Center have flourished. As a result, BGCMB has served over 2,500 youth in the City.

Y'landa has been with the Boys & Girls Club Movement for over ten years. She worked seven of those years with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, Inc. as the Director for their newest and largest facility, The Asylum Hill Unit, with responsibilities of providing programs and services to more than 1,500 youth and families. Due to her high standards and expectations, her site was recognized as one of the top Family PLUS sites and the organization recognized as one of the top 25 Clubs for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. For almost 25 years, she has worked in local communities and agencies in various capacities inspiring young people to reach their potential.

Y'landa is a Robert W. Woodruff Fellow, graduate of the Strom Thurman Advanced Leadership Program, and is a Distinguished Member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Academy. She most recently obtained her master's degree in Nonprofit Management from the University of Maryland. She has an undergraduate degree in African American Studies and a post-baccalaureate in Secondary Education- English from Central Connecticut State University. She is a National Trainer for Boys & Girls Clubs in the areas of SMART Moves, SMART Girls, Family PLUS, & Program Basics and has had the opportunity to train over 250 Youth Development Professionals in The Movement.


Pamela Johnson
Calloway Elementary School - Community School Coordinator

As the community school coordinator, Pam works to address barriers that impact student attendance, academics, school climate and family & community engagement during and outside of the the school day.


Matt Death
Vice President of Corporate and Business Partnerships

Matt joins BGCMB with ten years of experience with outreach and community involvement here in Baltimore. As a Track & Field Sprint coach, Matt worked to train and inspire young athletes at Loch Raven High School. After graduating from Towson University in 2006, Matt began a career with the Baltimore Orioles where he expanded outreach initiatives that brought the full Orioles game day experience to life for fans and their families.

Most recently Matt served as the Community Relations Coordinator for the Baltimore Orioles, where he helped to build relationships between the Orioles and leading community organizations. Matt was honored with the NAACP Baltimore City Branch’s Rev. Dr. Harvey Johnson President’s Award for outstanding community service, and received the 2014 MSABC Service to Baseball Award.


 Joel Rivera
 Vice President of Operations 

 A product of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, Joel has dedicated  his life to the Boys & Girls Club Movement. His path to Baltimore  began working in Chicago in some of the toughest neighborhoods in the city. Beginning as a Youth Development Professional, Joel grew a passion for programs such as Keystone, Torch Club, and the Game Room. After 11 years, Joel took his journey out west working in Clubs in Las Vegas, Sacramento, and Orange County as a Branch Director. Wanting to do more on a larger scale, to serve more kids and staff, Joel became a Director of Operations in Fresno. He's now landed in Baltimore as the Vice President of Operations for BGCMB Clubs. His 26 years of program experience and knowledge bring exciting opportunities for our community. He aims to give our youth the same wonderful experiences he had as Club member.

Joel has a Bachelor's Degree in Professional Studies from Aurora University. He obtained a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix, and is currently working towards a Master's in Business Administration, for which he was awarded a full scholarship from the University of Phoenix. 


Anna Piccirilli
Director of Marketing & Communications

Anna joined Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore's team in July 2017 after serving for a year with the Augustinian Volunteers in Ventura, California. There she worked as a Teacher's Aide and Assistant Religion Coordinator at a K-8 school.  She earned her Bachelor's degree at Villanova University, majoring in Marketing and International Business with a minor in Spanish.  




Mission Statement

 "To inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens."

We accomplish this mission by providing a safe place for youth to learn and grow, fostering genuine and ongoing relationships between our youth and caring adult professionals, sponsoring positive, life-enhancing programs, and by promoting character development, hope, and opportunity.