Armory Youth Project announces new executive director

MANISTEE — The Armory Youth Project board of directors recently announced that Dan Reynolds has been selected as its new executive director.

Reynolds, his wife, Melanie and their four children have lived in Manistee for the past three years and are very familiar with the community, having spent many summers in the area. He is joining the Armory from his most recent role as campus pastor for The Tabernacle Church of Manistee.

REYNOLDS

“I was actually interested in the position when the Armory first started, but the timing was not right,” he said. “When the opportunity opened up again, it required some life changes but I decided I wanted to go that route and put in my application.”

The Armory Youth Project board of directors began the hiring process for a new executive director in December, and Reynolds will officially start on Monday.

“Throughout Dan’s career, his love of music and God has led him to serve in ministry leadership roles, while maintaining other professional positions as well,” said Eileen Postma, board chair. “His energy and ability to manage multiple projects, teams and audiences will be critical to our success.”

Reynolds brings over 20 years of experience in music and ministry to this role. He served as a worship leader for Christ Covenant Church in Wixom, was the program director and worship leader for Crossroads Community Church in South Lyon and was the director’s assistant and youth pastor for Faith Covenant Church in Farmington Hills.

During this time, he was also the president, program director and event director for Frontline Music, a nonprofit business that provided sound, lights and event planning for churches, schools and other special events. He started his career as a founder of Buck Enterprises where he was a singer, songwriter and manager with a focus on youth performances.

“Early on, when I first started my career, I traveled with a professional band and toured all over the U.S. for about two years,” said Reynolds. “I played in a lot of places similar to the Armory, such as youth centers, clubs and groups.”

Reynolds felt that this experience helped him prepare for the executive director position.

“I think that’s when my interest started, I got to see how people do it all over the country,” he said. “After that I went into youth ministry for a while, and then bounced back and forth through different positions through youth and pastoral positions.”

Reynolds has resigned from his role as a campus pastor at The Tabernacle Church in order to pursue the role full time.

“Dan has a strong passion for youth and a proven track record in compassionate leadership, organizational development, and event planning,” said Postma. “This will be instrumental to our work in providing a safe environment where young people from grades six through 12 can build community and be encouraged in their educational, emotional, physical and Christian spiritual development.”

Although he is new to the role, Reynolds has several goals that he feels will allow the Armory to continue serving youth in the community.

“The biggest goal is to meet the mission that they already have set out, which is to reach youth in the area to have a safe place for them,” he said. “One of the things I’m hoping to do for them in the next month or two is to start a Friday night series that will run year-round, so kids are here instead of maybe on the street or getting into trouble.

“Those nights will have different activities and sponsors, and will start attracting more people to build up the numbers of students coming into the Armory and helping them get plugged into the other programs,” Reynolds continued. “That’s one of the big pushes we will be starting as soon as possible to get things going, we want to have a lot more programs going on after school.”

Reynolds said the Armory has a lot of existing programs in place, but he hopes to build off of that to reach more students in the community.

“There isn’t a lot going on right now and so we want to get that schedule full, so during the school year there’s one program after another instead of just open gym,” he said. “It’s more structured time, whether it’s teaching skills, sports and things that are benefiting students.”

Reynolds said he hopes to develop year-round programs that will benefit students of all ages and interests.

“We look forward to Dan’s leadership in the next phases of our service to the youth of Manistee County,” said Postma. “In collaboration with our community partners and under Dan’s direction, (Armory Youth Project) will implement additional programs and services to advance the vision of creating a flourishing youth culture in Manistee County where every person feels valued, finds a pathway to opportunity and has the tools to realize a more promising future.”

Contact Jane Bond at (231) 398-3111 or email jane.bond@hearst.com. Follow her on Twitter: @MNA_Jane.

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