Michelle McKenzie Spencer
Executive Director, Boys and Girls Club
Michelle (McKenzie) Spencer, a proud graduate of SHSU, moved back to Huntsville in 2005 to become Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Walker County (BGCWC), in which role she remains today. Since moving to Huntsville with her three children, Michelle has become a vital and involved part of this community. Michelle’s children have been educated in the Huntsville schools and, through her children, Michelle has been an enthusiastic supporter of area sports.
Michelle loves children and has committed her life to making sure that they are cared for, educated, and given opportunities to thrive. As Executive Director of BGCWC, Michelle operates a growing youth development program in Walker County for children 5-14, serving more than 200 children each school day and another 120 children in the summer camp. With support from both the City of Huntsville and Walker County funding as well as private donors, BGCWC is committed to keeping program fees low in support of those families who need child services the most.
As part of her commitment to growing BGCWC, Michelle was instrumental in receiving funding through FEMA to create a tornado shelter in Huntsville’s east side. This storm shelter will double as the gymnasium for a new, state-of-the art neighborhood center for Walker County children.
Beyond the activities offered to its members, BGCWC offers court-ordered community service opportunities to area middle and high school students, serving up to 50 youth each year for the past seven years. BGCWC also offers opportunities to SHSU students to meet the community service requirements of courses, fraternity/sorority, and scholarship, serving more than 200 college students in each of the past nine years.
Her efforts on behalf of children extend to their families and their community resources. For many years, Michelle has involved BGCWC in disbursing Christmas gifts from the Toys for Tots program and Salvation Army to Walker County families in need and has coordinated a program to provide Thanksgiving baskets of food to families in need.
In 2012 Michelle created a relationship with Houston Area Food Bank to coordinate disbursement of weekly bags of food to area students in need. In 2013 Michelle expanded this relationship by coordinating a successful monthly produce give-away program to area residents and housing family support services in BGCWC offices to provide to the community information and assistance for federal and state aid programs, such as Medicaid and Food Stamps. Michelle’s efforts were recognized by Hunger Free Texans as a Health & Hunger Champion.
Michelle has been involved with the Huntsville-Walker County Chamber of Commerce over the years in many capacities. She became an early champion for and sponsor of the Choices Program, an educational program for 8th graders teaching them the long-term impact of the choices that they make; she has also been a recognized presenter for the Choices curriculum. For the past three years, Michelle has been a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, also serving on the executive board as Vice Chair of Community Affairs. She has also served on the Selection Committee for the Chamber’s Scholarship program. Michelle was a member of the Chamber’s Huntsville Leadership Institute (HLI) graduate of class 26, and currently serves on the HLI Alumni Association Board of Directors as Treasurer.
In addition to the many programs she initiates within BGCWC, Michelle is active in many activities to support the larger Walker County community, its children and their families:
- She has been responsible for planning and coordinating the Kid’s Corner at Fair on the Square for the past seven years. In 2013 & 2014 she also coordinated the live performances on the main stage at the Fair.
- She has participated with BGCWC member children in Scare on the Square, Winter in Park, and Main St.’s Spring Cleaning Day.
- She was coordinator of the kid’s area for the 175th Birthday of the City of Huntsville Demi-Semi-Sept-Centennial.
- Michelle participated in the 2014 Walker County Community Plan Committee specifically related to Juvenile Services
- She is an active member of the Academic Community Engagement (ACE) Committee of SHSU.
- Michelle is a donor to the annual school supply initiative of Community Praise Ministries
- Planning Committee, annual MLK Day Celebration for the past seven years.
- Named 2014 Texas Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs Super Advocate for Outstanding Legislative Advocacy for Texas Boys & Girls Clubs.
- Michelle was a 2014 Citizen of the Year finalist.
- 2015 NAACP Citizen of the Year.
Michelle is also a member of the Huntsville Rotary.
In addition to her faith and her family, Michelle Spencer has made the children and families of Walker County her firm commitment. She walks her talk. Her creativity, her energy, and her influence is felt throughout the community. Our community is better place because Michelle fulfills her life’s purpose here.