Wakeman Boys & Girls Club names new CEO

Sabrina Smeltz

Sabrina Smeltz

Contributed photo

FAIRFIELD — Wakeman Boys & Girls Club announced last week that Sabrina Smeltz will assume the role of CEO in May. Sabrina was hired as Wakeman’s Chief Operating Officer in 2018 as part of a broader CEO succession plan. Since then, she has focused on the day to day operations of the organization, which includes the original Clubhouse in Southport, the Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse in Bridgeport, and Outreach programs at McKinley and Holland Hill schools in Fairfield. In addition, Sabrina has been influential in Wakeman’s plans to open a third clubhouse on Madison Avenue in Bridgeport.

David Blagys, Wakeman’s Executive Director, will assist Sabrina through the transition and will continue with the organization, focusing on the important work of resource development and the Madison Avenue project. Blagys joined Wakeman in 1981 and has served as the Executive Director since 1984. Under his leadership, Wakeman has grown from a single Southport location serving 650 boys, to an organization with four sites serving over 3,300 youth from diverse communities and socioeconomic backgrounds. He has guided the organization through three successful capital campaigns that resulted in the expansion and then renovation of the Southport Clubhouse, and the opening of the Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse.

Board of Trustees Chairman, Sean S. Sullivan affirmed, “As we continue to strengthen and streamline our growing organization, we are pleased to announce that we are promoting Sabrina to the role of CEO, effective May 1. We are confident that under her leadership, Wakeman Boys & Girls Club will continue to thrive and provide the critical support needed to the youth in the communities we serve. At the same time, we recognize and celebrate Dave Blagys, who has been a friend and a mentor to so many. His unwavering passion and dedication to the youth we serve is what we aspire to achieve as an organization.”

Sabrina wholeheartedly agrees: “I am thrilled to take on this new role at Wakeman Boys & Girls Club. Since coming on board in 2018, it has become clear that the strength of this organization comes from solid roots grounded in tradition and dedication to our mission. Much of that must be credited to Dave [Blagys], whose leadership has established Wakeman as a strong partner in the community. He is leaving big shoes to fill, but I am so grateful for his guidance and I look forward to working with him to continue serving our growing community, through these current challenges and beyond.”