Serving With Purpose

When Gaylen Ghylin was asked to define a true friend at a True Friends Board Retreat a few years ago, his mind immediately went to his longtime friend, Manny. He described Manny as principled and honest; someone he always knew he could rely on. It’s very fitting that it was Manny who first introduced Gaylen to True Friends.

“Manny loved Camp Friendship! One day, he came to my office and suggested I take a tour. He said ‘they’re doing some really good things there and I think you would like to know about it,” Gaylen shared. “Turns out Manny was right. That started my journey with True Friends.”

Gaylen’s journey has taken many twists and turns over the years, starting with his service as a board member for Friendship Ventures, which preceded True Friends. He then served as a board member for True Friends boards, lending expertise from his career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), as well as various other committees.

Gaylen shared that serving as a board member during the transition from Friendship Ventures to True Friends, and the massive challenge of transforming the operations of two different organizations into one efficient structure “could not have been more interesting or exciting.” He added that “it has been truly rewarding to watch True Friends continue to grow and change over time.”

Through his extensive involvement, Gaylen has had the opportunity to witness and help shape many key moments in True Friends history, including serving on the search committee for current President and CEO, John LeBlanc, and most recently as Campaign Chair for the Camp Courage Recreation Center project.

“I am so humbled and proud to be in this position. A recent survey tells us that almost 95% of our guests use this facility. We simply cannot get by without it,” Gaylen shared. “This is a huge, legacy kind of undertaking with a scope beyond what we’ve done before.”

True Friends is truly thankful for Gaylen’s thoughtful leadership and shared passion for our mission as we continue to progress on the Camp Courage Recreation Center.

“Gaylen has truly been a backbone for this organization during tumultuous times. He has been a leader – someone who has helped us start projects, and someone who has our back if we need him,” True Friends President and CEO, John LeBlanc, shared. “What drives him primarily is to ensure that True Friends is there – is always there – primarily to serve those who can’t get our services, our programs, and our experiences anywhere else.”

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