Lavin ’81 returns to Geneva – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Lavin ’81 returns to Geneva

Christopher N. Lavin ’81 returned to Geneva in January as the new executive director of the Geneva Community Center and Boys & Girls Club of Geneva.

“I’ve basically followed the sun, but I’ve always felt like a Geneva kid living somewhere else,” Lavin said in a recent article announcing his appointment. “I always came home. I have family there. Some of my best friends are my former professors at Hobart. I always considered Geneva to be home, and I was just away.”

Lavin previously served as director of communications for the La Jolla Country Day School, in La Jolla, Calif. As a student, Lavin majored in anthropology and was a Geneva Scholarship Associates award recipient. He has worked at the Finger Lakes Times, the Rochester Times-Union, St. Petersburg Times and San Diego Union-Tribune.

The full article follows.

Finger Lakes Times
New Boys & Girls Club, Geneva Community Center director coming ‘home’

Jim Miller • December 16, 2014

GENEVA – Christopher Lavin left Geneva to pursue a journalism career in 1982. Although he eventually landed in sunny St. Petersburg, Fla., and La Mesa, Calif., he longed to return.

Come January, he will.

Lavin was hired Friday as executive director of the Geneva Community Center and Boys & Girls Club of Geneva.

“I’ve basically followed the sun, but I’ve always felt like a Geneva kid living somewhere else,” Lavin said Monday. “I always came home. I have family there. Some of my best friends are my former professors at Hobart. I always considered Geneva to be home, and I was just away.”

Lavin, the brother of noted folk singer Christine Lavin and a former Finger Lakes Times reporter, will succeed Arlene Francis, the former executive director of the Boys & Girls Club. Francis stepped down in September. Bob McCarthy has been serving as interim director of the Geneva Community Center and Boys & Girls Club since November.

Jim Gerling, a member of the center’s board, said Lavin stood out as a clear favorite from the beginning of the search process. He knows the community, the center’s chief supporters and its community partners, Gerling said, so he should be able to hit the ground running.

“He was, right from the beginning, so interested in the position and so interested in what was going on with the center and the Boys & Girls Club,” Gerling said. “He had this great enthusiasm for it [and a] great appreciation for what it is, but also seemed to very easily and very quickly share a vision of what he thought it could be in the future.”

Lavin currently is director of communications for the La Jolla Country Day School. He worked at the Finger Lakes Times from 1976-1982, then moved on to the Rochester Times-Union, St. Petersburg Times and San Diego Union-Tribune.

He worked as a reporter and editor, and developed a local news initiative called LaMesaToday.com.

At La Jolla, where he has worked since 2009, Lavin created year-round marketing campaigns, giving him fundraising experience that impressed Gerling.

Lavin attended Hobart College through the Geneva Associate Scholar program. He sees his new job as a way of giving back to the community that helped him through college.

“I’m a guy with a lot of ideas and a lot of energy, and, because of my experience around the country, a lot of contacts,” he said. “I’ve created programs, and I’m particularly interested in – I believe in – education. I believe that Geneva’s greatest natural resource is its people and its children.”

Lavin said he sees the center as something distinctive, and he wants to help it become more prominent in serving everyone from youth to senior citizens through health programs, education, and arts and entertainment initiatives.

That dovetails with Gerling’s hopes. He believes the center is poised for a surge and said Lavin’s title emphasizes that the Boys & Girls Club is only one part of it.

“We are everything a Boys & Girls Club should be, and more,” he said, “and we want people to hear that ‘more’ part.”

Lavin will start work Jan. 12.