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MAC hires McHaney after Andres resigns

Both working on transition for MAC, Kids Club


by: HOLLY M. GILL - Joe McHaney has been named the new director of the Madras Aquatic Center.Less than two months after the Madras Aquatic Center hired Todd Andres as the new director, Andres has given two weeks' notice, and the board has hired a replacement.

After an executive session on Monday, the MAC Board of Directors unanimously voted to hire Joe McHaney, 34, of Madras, as the new director. McHaney will start work at the MAC on April 17.

Earlier in the day, McHaney, currently the Kids Club director, notified the Kids Club Board of Directors that he planned to accept the MAC job, and gave 30 days' notice.

"I'm really excited for the opportunity to be in that organization to build on some of the things already in place by both organizations," said McHaney, who has worked with the MAC as director of Kids Club. "This is a natural step for me."

Board Chairman Anita Goodwin, who learned last Wednesday that Andres had accepted a position with Pacific Power in Klamath Falls, where his family still lives, immediately thought of McHaney for the director position. McHaney was one of the four candidates the board interviewed during their last director search.

"We hired Joe because we think he can stabilize the MAC," said Goodwin. "He has done a great job at Kids Club, has shown that he is organized — a planner who sets goals and achieves them."

"He feels strongly about developing recreational opportunities in our community and he has shown that he can manage a budget as well a team of people working toward a vision," she said. "He has a positive can-do attitude."

"The board is sad to see Todd go, but we understand that he needs to do what is best for his family," she said, adding that Andres will be a good resource for McHaney, who, on Tuesday, started spending a few hours at the MAC each morning. The board agreed to pay him an hourly wage until he starts full-time work.

For his part, Andres has been preparing employees to take on added responsibilities since he started on Jan. 20, according to Goodwin.

"He feels like they'll be able to pick up some of the slack," she said. "He did such a good job of stabilizing the employees who are there, giving them a feeling of more security."

Although he has enjoyed the two months he has spent as director, Andres said he got a job offer he just couldn't refuse. "I applied for the job a couple days before I was interviewed for this one," he explained.

"This is a hard decision for me," said Andres, who feels that the board is moving the MAC in the right direction. "I think they're doing great things for the community."

Andres said he has been working behind the scenes to help the board put together goals, bring pride into the facility, and work on customer service training.

"I'm going to do everything I can to leave the MAC in a better place than when I came into it," said Andres.

"The place is on a more stable footing," said Goodwin. "I've definitely noticed more smiles on people's faces."

McHaney familiar face

McHaney is well-known to many in the community for his work at the Kids Club since August 2012. During that time, he has made many changes to improve the organization.

"We've done a lot the last couple of years," he said. "I feel like we've gained a lot of momentum with the Kids Club — like the Kids Club is headed in the right direction."

Since he was hired there, average daily attendance has increased from 135 to nearly 220. Summer attendance went from 75 to 157, with a daily average of 110, and summer camp attendance increased from 180 to 284.

"I'm proud that we took summer from half-day care to all-day care (for 10 weeks)," said McHaney.

In cooperation with the Culver School District, McHaney also worked out an agreement to get youths bused from Culver schools to the Kids Club.

Under his leadership, Kids Club added an annual Career and College Awareness Night; Teen Nights for middle school kids, which draw about 100 kids per event; a Community Carnival, which drew about 1,000 people; a golf tournament fundraiser; and increased the Brain Domain library from 50 books to well over 1,000 books.

The Kids Club also obtained a $10,000 grant from the Rotary Club to modernize and improve its game room by painting and adding new equipment and seating for kids. The upgrades are expected to be completed by mid-April, before McHaney's last day.

"Emotionally, it's going to be tough (to leave) because of the friendships I've made over the past couple of years through Kids Club," he said.

However, McHaney intends to continue partnering with the Kids Club.

"One of my visions is the opportunity to work closely with the Kids Club to build strong after-school programming and youth and adult recreation programs," he said.

"It's going to be a busy transition," said McHaney. "I think both organizations care about each other and I think there will be some overlapping to make sure everyone transitions well."

He praised the Kids Club staff, "especially Mary Bravo, who basically dedicates her life to the betterment of Kids Club. It's been a pleasure to work with all of them."

Prior to working for the Kids Club, McHaney was the sports editor at the Madras Pioneer from August 2008 to August 2012.

He graduated from Condon High School in 1997, and earned a bachelor's degree in liberal studies, with English and business minors, from Eastern Oregon University in 2002. In the fall, he plans to enroll in the master's program in business administration through Eastern.

McHaney has a 3-year-old daughter, Rylee.



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