WestSouthwest: Get Familiar With Kalamazoo's Boys & Girls Club's New Leader

Jul 24, 2017

Chris Harris-Wimsatt, who became CEO of Kalamazoo's Boys and Girls Club in February, poses July 24 in his office.
Credit Anders Dahlberg | WMUK

It's not often that a person gets a chance to become the CEO of the singular organization credited with transforming his or her life. Chris Harris-Wimsatt has. In February, he became head of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo. On today's WestSouthwest, the Raleigh, N.C., native talks about his troubled childhood and how his local Boys Club was his refuge. It is a longer version of an interview that first aired in June. 

Chris Harris-Wimsatt, second from left, and his staff at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo on July 24.
Credit Anders Dahlberg | WMUK

Harris-Wimsatt, a former Stryker executive, most recently was director of Western Michigan University’s Seita Scholars Program that helps former foster youngsters make a successful transition to college. He is former president, vice president and secretary on the board of Kalamazoo’s Boys & Girls Club.

He says he was asked but initially declined applying for the CEO position of the club. He was in the role of past president when the search that drew 118 applications began. He said he was asked again if he wished to apply when it was down to a single finalist. That’s when he says, after much prayer, he said yes.

Harris-Wimsatt replaces Robert Ezelle, who retired after 30 years in the top spot of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Boys and Girls Club hosts its 100 Men Who Cook fundraiser on Aug. 12.