Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City
Location: Atlantic City, NJ
Industry: Social Services | Youth Development
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, most organizations and businesses slowed down or paused. The Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, though, hit the accelerator.
The organization transformed into a food distribution site, an online mentoring program and a place for virtual schooling. It partnered with the local healthcare system, providing onsite medical care, and provided college courses for high schoolers.
“As leaders, we recognized that we needed to stand steadfast and breed innovation through partnerships, becoming the scaffolding our community needed so that they could climb into a brighter tomorrow,” the organization’s CEO Stephanie Koch said. “I learned that in a world of question, a leader’s strength is a reflection of their team’s impact.”
As a graduate student at Temple University, Koch worked on then-Mayor Ed Rendell’s campaign for governor and later as the manager of planning and development for the Philadelphia Workforce Development Corporation (now Philadelphia Works, Inc.). She returned to Rendell’s team with the Department of Public Welfare (now Department of Human Services), focusing on equity in employment and education.
Koch moved to the Atlantic City region while also transitioning to a C-level position with JEVS Human Services in Philadelphia. She served on various boards, such as the Atlantic County Workforce Development Board, Atlantic City Arts Foundation and Jewish Family Services. In 2019, the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City recruited her for their open CEO position.
During Koch’s first two years at the helm, the organizational budget increased by 20%, the number of youth served grew from 1,300 to 2,500 annually, full-time staffing increased by 38% and the organization’s reserves grew by over 60%. Under Koch’s leadership, the Club established a relationship with Apple, founding citywide STEAM education and launching an innovation hub for teens.
“My career has been founded on highlighting an intersection, linking community needs with corporate responsibility while informing public policy,” Koch said. “I believe that by defining purpose and amplifying impact, individuals are fulfilled, corporations find a devoted and productive workforce and those in need receive support to become selfsustaining and successful.”
Koch has been appointed to CHIEF, a national network of female executives; the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce; and the Southern New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.
“I am dedicated to seeking opportunities and equity for all, not only as a leader, but as an advocate for those who do not have one,” Koch said. “I am reminded of a Hebrew quote, ‘You are not required to finish your work, yet neither are you permitted to desist from it.’ My work has just begun.”
Stephanie is a work out addict! She is up at 445am EVERY morning to start her day at the gym. During COVID, she fell in love with running and often referred to herself as Forest Gump!
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