Jim Martin with Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County members 

The appliance manufacturer Maytag recently honored seven people around the country with its Maytag Dependable Leader Award, and one of the seven happens to be Sarasota’s Jim Martin. The award was created to Boys & Girls Clubs staffers and volunteers who have made a "dependable, positive impact on youth." Martin, the chief executive officer of Captivation Agency has been a dedicated Boys & Girls Clubs volunteer for more than 15 years. The award includes a $20,000 donation that will support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County.

Martin has served on the Boys & Girls Clubs' marketing committee, joined other councils and boards throughout the nonprofit and used resources from his business to offer educational activities for club members, such as working on stop motion. He says one highlight of his work is watching members advance through school, leave for college and then return to visit. “Individuals coming back to the Boys & Girls Clubs is a true testament to the strength of what all the people here are doing," he says. "It is incredibly inspiring."

Martin's commitment to the Boys & Girls Clubs is rooted in the nonprofit’s Students Taking Active Roles program, known as STAR. STAR aims to encourage youth to become involved in their communities. The program starts with a 65-hour training curriculum designed for high school students. After completing the 65 hours, which can be used for school credit, students gain voting member rights on local city, county and nonprofit boards.

The opportunity builds connections and serves as a future incentive for young people to return to the area. “We are educating individuals about local government and how that works, hooking them into individuals who are part of the community and helping grow our community as well,” Martin says.