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Henderson CEO to oversee combined Boys & Girls Clubs

For a while, Ken Rubeli, the CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Henderson, would always get puzzled remarks as to why there were separate Boys & Girls Clubs for Henderson and Las Vegas.

That is expected to change now that the entities announced July 10 that they are planning to merge into the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada with Rubeli as its director.

“It makes us more efficient,” he said. “I look at donors as investors. Every dollar someone invests, I make sure we have the highest return to do more for the kids.”

With the organizations operating as one, Rubeli thinks Boys & Girls Clubs could better utilize its donations, possibly even securing more funds.

The merger is expected to serve about 30,000 children in 17 locations.

Rubeli estimated the deal should be completed by the end of September.

“It’s like any other business merger,” he said. “Right now, we are doing our legal due diligence to make sure everything is done properly. It’s a process. It takes time.”

Dulcinea Almazan, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas, left the organization June 30 after five years of service.

Rubeli, who has served on the board since 2005 before being appointed to CEO to the Henderson club in 2010, stepped in as the interim CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas but is expected to oversee the larger organization when the merger is finalized.

He also is a beneficiary of the programs offered at the Boys & Girls Clubs and knows firsthand the impact the organization has.

Ryder Donohue, the chief volunteer officer for Boys & Girls Clubs of Henderson, said Rubeli helped grow the organization during the recession.

“(Rubeli) has our full support,” Donohue said. “The kids will be the ultimate beneficiaries of the new Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada, particularly with Ken as CEO, with his business acumen and nonprofit compassion and experience.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs talked five years ago about the idea of merging the Las Vegas and Henderson clubs.

“There was significant discussions about it,” Rubeli said. “It just wasn’t the right time.”

The organizations have been collaborating on more cross promotion and activities for a few years, from setting up joint fireworks booths as fundraisers during July to hosting basketball tournaments.

Expanding to one unified organization was a practical next step.

“This is just the icing on the cake,” he said. “We get twice the buying power as before.”

Board members of each organization are expected to be invited to stay on or transition out as the entities combine.

Rubeli said it’s an opportunity to look at the combined strengths of each organization to see what staffing adjustments need to be made.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Henderson served about 10,000 youths, while Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas served about 20,000.

Even though each organization had its designated name, they didn’t necessarily operate within the specified city’s parameters. For instance, the Henderson organization oversees facilities in North Las Vegas.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Henderson had facilities outside the city.

“We would expand regardless of location,” he said.

The merging into one name should clarify some of the confusion of which facility belongs to which organization, Rubeli said.

“We all have one mission,” he said. “This just gives us one voice now.”

Rubeli said there already have been discussions about opening the first facility under the new branding. He added that the probability of that happening would increase if the organization could find a partnership.

Boys & Girls Clubs recently partnered with Nevada HAND, a housing program for low-income people, to open two facilities.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” Rubeli said. “The business gets two additional amenities to offer to new tenants, and we have two new Boys & Girls Clubs. Kids get dropped off at their apartments after school and have a place to go.”

It has also partnered with schools such as Saint Anne Catholic School.

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Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at or 702-387-5201.