EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 25, 2008

Boys Club gets fresh start; New director, head of girls program named

HAVERHILL - Brian Theirrien didn't expect it to happen this way - not this quickly and certainly not for this reason.

His long-range goal was to become a Boys Club director. He's been learning the ropes for two years as second in command at the Haverhill Boys Club, hoping it would help him land a top job elsewhere someday.

Then it happened - Shaun Menzie resigned as director of the club in August after being arrested in a police prostitution sting in Kingston, N.H. Theirrien took over as the club's acting director, and today the permanent job is his.

As the club works to keep its strong reputation in the community after Menzie's arrest, it has chosen Theirrien to lead. He has been named head of the club by its board of directors.

Theirrien takes over at a time of big change for the organization - after 108 years of being a place for boys only, the Haverhill Boys Club is making the transition to accepting female members. It is one of the last Boys Clubs in the nation to make the change.

Theirrien will have help from someone who the board believes understands what girls will need in the new Haverhill Boys and Girls Club. The board also named Sharon Silverman as women's activities director. Silverman has worked part time at the club for more than 25 years as its art director and as adviser to the Keystone Club. That group is open to boys ages 14 to 17 and focuses on community service projects.

The board of directors chose Theirrien and Silverman unanimously.

Frank Iuele, chairman of the club's Human Resources Committee, said Theirrien's efficiency and dedication to the club, as well as his willingness to help in its ongoing transformation from a Boys Club to a Boys and Girls Club, stood out as reasons to give him the job. He said the finest compliment was paid to him by board member Bob Wysocki, who said he had not seen this level of dedication to the club since it was led by his father, Walter "Budger" Wysocki, then by Budger's nephew, Dick Wysocki. The two Wysockis were in charge of the club for years prior to Menzie running it.

During his more than 20 years with the organization, Menzie worked his way up from athletic director to program director to executive director, a high-profile position in which he helped raise money for the club and its programs for boys. Many club members live in the inner city.

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